Toe Curling and Early Diagnosis of Parkinson’s

On my radio show today I interview 83 year young Lee Bender who confronted a debilitating problem with curled toes in his right foot.  Lee discovered a solution to his problem from a most unexpected source which he talks about during my interview with him today.

You are probably expecting me to tell you the solution which took 15 minutes.  Part of me wants to cave, but I won’t. It is worth taking 45 minutes to listen to the entire show.  I am on live at 11:00 am pacific time today (March 4th). You can always listen to the show later by downloading the recording. Click on the radio program link at the top of the blog (on the ride side panel) or visit by clicking the link below:

I sent out an e mail announcement to my list about the radio show today and in response received a fascinating e-mail  from Brad who speculates that toe curling is a reliable predictor (and early sign) of Parkinson’s.

I just discovered that “toe curling” or “kinesigenic foot distonia” is a “hallmark” of early-onset Parkinson’s, often appearing long before tremors or other obvious symptoms.  Distonia is different from regular cramps.  I had this symptom for two or three years before diagnosis (at age 52).

What is really unbelievable is that (western) doctors, even neurologists, either can’t or won’t tell you this.  They either ignore or misdiagnose this unique symptom.  You have to display at least three classic PD symptoms to get a diagnosis of PD.  By then you know something is wrong and from a western medicine perspective it makes no difference when you receive diagnosis and treatment (since there is no hope for improvement anyway).

What effect might  three years of detox and/or lifestyle changes and alternative therapies in early intervention have on the later progression (or remission) of PD?  Ten to fifteen percent of these PD related distonias resolve spontaneously (for unknown reasons).  Of course, PD never resolves (by definition).  If it does, it is declared a misdiagnosis or “psychogenic” (you never really had PD).  This does not really help discover early indicators of PD.  Any strange or unusal sensations in the body should be taken seriously as a sign that something is out of balance.


Incidentally, if you want to sign up for the few newsletter, you can do so by entering you e mail address in the field at the top of this blog (on the right side panel). I hope you can join us for the show today.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery


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