A Holistic Therapy
By Walter Last
Parkinson's disease, formerly also called Paralysis agitans or Shaking palsy, is a disease of the central nervous system. Characteristic symptoms are tremors or shaking of one or both arms and sometimes of other muscles. Generally muscles are weak and rigid, movements slow and the face expressionless, also the voice becomes weak. Typically the walk is with slow, short, shuffling steps, the arms held stiffly at the sides and the trunk slightly bent forward, the patient may spontaneously break into a shuffling run.
The onset of the disease is gradual and progression of symptoms usually slow. It may start with a mild shaking of the hands or involuntary nodding of the head. The mental abilities usually remain unimpaired, however, as the disease progresses there may be frequent mood changes, withdrawal and depression. The disease commonly starts in middle-aged and elderly individuals and seems to affect predominantly males. However, high exposure to environmental chemicals and drugs, such as certain tranquillisers and antihypertensives, inorganic iron, aluminium and carbon monoxide can induce an early onset of Parkinson-like symptoms. The symptoms of Parkinson's disease are partly due to a loss of brain cells in specific areas and partly to a lack of the neurotransmitter dopamine that helps to transmit signals across the tiny gaps between neighbouring nerve cells.
The medical cause of these brain changes is not known. The main medical treatment consists in providing a drug, L-dopa or levodopa, which can be converted in the brain to dopamine. In addition, there are a variety of dopamine-sparing drugs and others that stimulate dopamine receptors. However, this treatment is not always effective, especially in advanced conditions and the long-term deterioration continues unchecked or may even be speeded up. Side effects include involuntary jerky movements, hypotension, nausea, anorexia, vomiting and disturbance of the mental equilibrium. Long-term treatment may result in neurotic and psychotic symptoms. These are probably due to an oxidation product of L-dopa, dopachrome, accumulating in the brain; for a similar reason schizophrenics deteriorate when given L-dopa.
A new and somewhat controversial operation has been used to graft part of an adrenal gland into the brain. This temporarily stimulates the dopamine production in the brain. However, frequent side effects are even more severe psychotic and neurotic symptoms and personality changes than with L-dopa treatment. The reason is assumed to be the accumulation of adrenochrome, an oxidation product of adrenalin, in addition to the dopachrome. Adrenochrome is an even stronger hallucinogen than dopachrome. As in schizophrenia, high doses of niacin and ascorbic acid can minimise or prevent hallucinogenic symptoms. Another type of brain surgery has been experimentally used to reduce excessive shaking and involuntary movements.
Besides L-dopa also other drugs, including benserazide, carbidopa and isonizid have been reported to produce symptoms, which respond to increased niacin intake. Parkinsonism can also result from brain arteriosclerosis, stroke, head injury and after encephalitis or influenza. However, no such causative factors are known for the classical Parkinson's disease that is, therefore, called idiopathic.
The neurotransmitter dopamine is formed in the nerve cells of the brain from the amino acid tyrosine with L-dopa as an intermediary stage. Tyrosine can be obtained from food or synthesised from another amino acid, phenylalanine. Therefore, tyrosine and phenylalanine can be used as nutritional supplements to ensure that the brain has sufficient raw material for the synthesis of dopamine.
In an experimental study it has been shown that supplementation with 100 mg /kg /day or about 6 - 7 g of tyrosine increased the dopamine formation in the brain of patients with Parkinson' s disease. Also supplementation with D-phenylalanine helped: 15 patients received 100 - 250 mg twice daily and examination after 4 weeks revealed significant improvement in rigidity, walking, speech and depression but not with tremors.
L-dopa treatment tends to create a brain deficiency of the amino acid tryptophan, which results in depression and other side effects. Several studies show that patients benefit with mood improvement and functional abilities when given tryptophan in addition to L-dopa.
Also ascorbic acid helps to counteract the severe side effects of L-dopa. A double-blind study is described of a patient who could not tolerate L-dopa because of severe nausea. If the drug was supplemented with ascorbic acid his condition greatly improved while every time he received a placebo instead of vitamin C his condition rapidly deteriorated.
Other studies also show the benefits of vitamin E supplementation. Even better is the result if several antioxidants are used together. In one study the time until levodopa treatment became necessary was delayed for 5.5 years in a group of newly diagnosed patients receiving 3000 mg per day each of vitamin C and E as compared to a group without supplementation.
Vitamin B6 is essential for the synthesis of dopamine. Therefore, this vitamin, together with its cofactor zinc, should be provided in high amounts to overcome long-term deficiency symptoms and stimulate the production of dopamine. While there is also a negative report, various other studies show varying degrees of benefits from vitamin B6 supplements. In one study supplementation of 10 – 100 mg of vitamin B6 daily resulted in decreased cramps, rigidity and tremors and improvement in 8 cases out of 19 in walking and bladder control. In another study 5 out of 11 patients improved and out of 90 cases 10% had permanent improvement, another report found improvement in 9 cases out of 10. Improvement generally was more frequent in cases of shorter duration and least pronounced in long-standing conditions. Of course, improvements from vitamin B6 supplementation would be limited by existing deficiencies in zinc and tyrosine or phenylalanine as well as other cofactors in dopamine synthesis.
In addition, it should be noted that when taken together with L-dopa, vitamin B6 stimulates production of dopamine from the provided L-dopa in other parts of the body with less L-dopa reaching the brain and a decreased effectiveness. This may be a factor causing negative findings in some experimental studies. However, this less of a problem if L-dopa is used together with a decarboxylase inhibitor as in Madopar or Sinemet. Nevertheless, with higher doses of vitamin B6 it is advisable to take the vitamin either at the end of the day after the last levodopa or during the day in smaller amounts about an hour after taking levodopa and several hours before the next lot.
While the level of dopamine in the brain of aging individuals and especially with Parkinson's disease declines to about half its normal level, the coloured oxidation products of dopamine and of other neurotransmitters increasingly accumulate. In one study very high amounts of such coloured deposits were found in a specific area of the brain after L-dopa treatment as compared to Parkinson patients without L-dopa treatment.
In addition, other oxidised substances, especially lipids and proteins, accumulate in cells, including nerve cells. These accumulations of oxidation products in the skin are known as 'age spots' or 'liver spots'. Such age pigments are composed of lipofuscin, ceroid and amyloid and begin filling up the nerve cells until they are killed when residue levels reach up to 70%. Accumulations of age pigments may be an important factor in the decline of the numbers of nerve cell in the brain of Parkinson patients. An additional factor is suspected to be the autoxidation of dopamine, which also yields hydrogen peroxide and free radicals, which damage the dopamine receptors. The accumulation of age pigments can be largely prevented and partially reversed by long-term supplementation with high amounts of antioxidants; preferably combined with periodic cleansing diets.
Manganese is important for muscle and brain functions. A case has been reported of an elderly male with initial signs of lupus erythematosus developing Parkinson's disease and some years later also signs of myasthenia gravis. With a therapy based on manganese and vitamin E symptoms of all three diseases quickly disappeared. However, a prolonged overload of manganese resulting in manganese poisoning has the opposite effect; it causes Parkinson-like symptoms.
Besides stimulation of dopamine production, vitamin B6 has a beneficial effect on tremors. In one study all 60 patients with Parkinson's disease had a significant decrease and 12 a complete disappearance of tremors with 300 - 400 mg of vitamin B6. The same applies to magnesium, which has been reported to relieve or stop severe trembling and twitching. In addition, magnesium relieves muscle rigidity and cramps. Magnesium is the classical relaxation mineral. The sulphur amino acid taurine works together with magnesium and seems to have a sedating effect on the overstimulated movement center in the brain that causes shaking.
Some other supplements with reported benefits in Parkinson's disease are L-carnitine, octacosanol and evening primrose oil. L-carnitine helps to increase energy production by channelling fatty acids into cells; it also improves memory and possibly other brain functions. Octacosanol is a long-chain lipid concentrated from wheat-germ oil. It generally increases endurance and some Parkinson patients responded with improvement in their daily living activities and mood. Evening primrose oil, on the other hand, may help to reduce tremors. Involuntary movements may be reduced with antioxidants, lecithin and manganese.
Recently reported research suggests that Parkinson patients release too much of the neurotransmitter nitric oxide. This is a small molecule produced from the amino acid arginine and is vital in the regulation of blood flow and blood pressure. This appears to be an important finding, and efforts have started to develop a drug to correct this. However, the amino acid L-lysine is in an antagonistic balance with L-arginine. Increased lysine levels will generally reduce the amount of released nitric oxide. Therefore I would experimentally use supplemental lysine, say about 1 g three times daily before meals. You may also try smaller and larger amounts. I do not expect this to interfere with the simultaneous use of levodopa.
For patients on L-dopa the meal composition is important. With meals high in protein less l-dopa reaches the brain through the blood-brain barrier and Parkinson-like symptoms may result. After a meal high in carbohydrates, on the other hand, more L-dopa reaches the brain and dyskinesia (uncontrolled movements) may develop. Therefore, drug intake should be adjusted to the type of the meal. The best way is to eat the main protein meal in the evening after the last daily dose of levodopa. Increased levels of ascorbic acid and vitamin B6 increase dopamine levels in the brain.
CHEMICALS AND ENDOTOXINS
Evidence is now accumulating which supports the view that Parkinson's disease can originate from long-term subclinical damage to the nervous system from environmental chemicals. Initial reports linked the development of some forms of Parkinson's disease mainly to medical drugs and to industrial workers exposed to chemicals. This includes especially the exposure to industrial solvents.
More recent reports also show a link between the use of pesticides and herbicides on farms and this disease. Development of symptoms due to low-level chronic exposure is gradual. For instance the symptoms of a farmer ascribed to chemical spraying progressed over an eight-year period to bilateral Parkinsonism. Researchers have suggested that long-term exposure to sub-toxic levels of chemicals is much more likely to lead to neurological disorders, such as Parkinsonism, than to physically based diseases.
A recent study found that mice developed symptoms of Parkinson's disease when injected with low levels of two common farm chemicals, the herbicide paraquat and the fungicide maneb. Neither of these on their own caused any problems.
A study at Stanford University reported in May 2000 questioned 496 individuals during their diagnosis for Parkinson's disease about pesticide exposure in the home. It was found that people who had been exposed to pesticides were twice as likely to develop Parkinson's disease as people not exposed to pesticides.
Several studies also found that patients with Parkinson's disease have much lower levels of detoxifying enzymes than healthy individuals, only about 30% of normal levels were present. This means that toxic chemicals in such individuals accumulate much more than in those with normal liver functions. These chemicals are fat-soluble and, therefore, are stored in lipid structures such as the brain.
A contributing factor greatly facilitating the passage of toxic chemicals into the brain is aluminium. The brain is normally protected from undesirable chemicals in the bloodstream by a filter barrier. High aluminium levels have been shown to allow toxic chemicals to cross this barrier, which would otherwise be kept out. In addition, aluminium itself has neurotoxic properties. Aluminium inhibits the synthesis of important brain chemicals and it has the potential to block nucleic acid metabolism within nerve cells and to interfere with magnesium in the regulation of neurotransmitter receptors. The brain deterioration in Alzheimer's disease is strongly linked to aluminium accumulations in brain cells.
The injection of aluminium salts into the fluid surrounding the brain initiates degenerative brain changes, and aluminium levels in the brain of cats similar to the levels in Alzheimer's disease causes learning difficulties for the cats. There is an unusually high rate of motoneuron disease and Parkinson's disease in the indigenous population of Guam in the Western Pacific. The soil and drinking water in this area is unusually high in aluminium and low in magnesium and calcium.
Our main intake of aluminium comes from cooking utensils, antacids, some baking powders, municipal water supplies and aerosol sprays. Encephalopathy has been clinically induced in dialysis patients through aluminium overload with mental deterioration and the EEG suggesting movement disorders.
Further brain deterioration can be caused by accumulations of the heavy metals cadmium, lead and mercury. Of these, mercury is generally the greatest brain hazard, coming mainly from amalgam tooth fillings. Organic mercury compounds are strong nerve poisons, which may kill nerve cells, cause tremors and reportedly also symptoms of multiple sclerosis. The problem is worse with two or more different kinds of metal in the mouth which cause micro-currents that interfere with nerve functions, and also the presence of different toxic metals in the brain greatly potentises their harmful effects. Finally, iron overload, especially in inorganic form, can intensify Parkinson problems.
Hidden food allergies and chemical sensitivities contribute to most degenerative diseases. However, in Parkinson's disease the body generally is insensitive and does not readily react even when specifically testing for hidden allergies. Nevertheless, it has been shown that the intestinal barrier becomes increasingly inefficient with advancing age and degenerative diseases. This allows only partly digested protein fragments or peptides to enter the bloodstream and reach the brain, causing chronic Inflammation and long-term degeneration of brain cells.
Instead of reacting directly to allergy testing, food allergies and chemical sensitivities may be noticed as higher L-dopa requirements, gradual worsening of symptoms or increase of dysfunctional periods. After many years on levodopa, I noticed one patient being sensitive to the blue colouring of the standard Sinemet tablets with pronounced improvement when other tablets with a different colour were used. I suspect that many patients of all kinds of diseases deteriorate because of the unbiological colours and preservatives used in tablet making.
A study found that copper levels are significantly higher in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease than in a control group. While the specific reason for the elevated copper levels are not known, these are generally high when there is a chronic inflammation as caused by auto-immune and hidden allergy reactions. Furthermore, a copper enzyme is required to convert tyrosine into levodopa and elevated brain copper levels may be an attempt to stimulate levodopa production. However, high copper levels in the presence of antioxidant deficiencies tend to cause increased free-radical damage to the DNA of nerve cells.
These considerations show the importance of adopting a long-term low-allergy diet in the treatment of Parkinson's disease and to have a high intake of antioxidant nutrients that prevent free-radical damage. Endotoxins are toxic chemicals produced by harmful intestinal bacteria. Undesirable changes in the composition of the intestinal flora and resulting overgrowth of the small intestine with undesirable bacteria and fungi commonly results from antibiotics and other immune-suppressive drugs, from low gastric acidity and from frequently drinking alcohol.
In addition drugs, such as aspirin and also alcohol as well as allergic inflammations of the intestinal walls allow not only partly digested food fragments but also bacterial endotoxins to pass into the bloodstream and eventually into the brain where they act as neurotoxins. If the body is still sufficiently sensitive as usually in younger individuals neurotoxins tend to produce acute psychotic symptoms while with advancing age and insensitive bodies neurotoxins cause chronic nerve degeneration from the destruction of nerve and brain cells.
Normally, the liver acts as am additional filter and barrier against the invasion of internal organs by endotoxins. However, a persistently high influx of endotoxins combined with either food or chemical allergies or deficiencies of protective nutrients cause the liver to degenerate, thereby losing its detoxifying abilities. There are many studies showing the connection between intestinal bacteria, endotoxins, liver damage and finally diseases of the central nervous system. Therefore, the central medical feature of Parkinson's disease may well be liver damage caused either by environmental chemicals and drugs by hidden allergies and endotoxins or by a combination of these factors.
This means that the treatment of Parkinson's disease should focus on improving liver functions by substituting the outlined negative factors for positive ones. This entails the living in an unpolluted environment, eating low-allergy food which is free of agricultural and added food chemicals, avoiding alcohol and unnecessary drugs, drinking clean water, normalising the intestinal flora with a high intake of raw food and additional cultures of acidophilus and bifido-bacteria and using a high level of antioxidant and detoxifying nutrients in addition to specific natural therapies to regenerate the liver. Furthermore the blood circulation to the brain should be improved. A diet high in chlorinated water, sugar, fat and oxidised cholesterol leads to arteriosclerosis while even a single fatty meal impairs the blood airflow to the brain for several hours after the meal.
A MORE EFFECTIVE LEVODOPA THERAPY
After several years levodopa usually begins to lose its effectiveness and higher and higher doses are required with increasing side effects. This becomes a vicious cycle in which after 10 to 20 years the drug becomes more or less ineffective, causing either spastic uncontrolled movements or long periods of rigidity. This negative spiral can be avoided or reversed by a different way of administering levodopa.
The eventual loss of effectiveness and increasing side effects appear to result mainly from the oxidation of dopamine and storage of these toxic products in brain cells, possibly blocking dopamine receptors. By trying to use always enough levodopa to prevent off-periods, the brain becomes overloaded with toxic or obstructive breakdown products.
Therefore, to prevent the accumulation of breakdown products, the brain needs regular rest periods from levodopa. This may be done by withholding levodopa every day at bedtime and re-introducing it the following morning when the body seems to require it. With low and moderate requirements for levodopa this is no problem and many patients may do it like this anyway. The main problem is, of course, with those on high levodopa intakes and frequent on - off periods. Try the following method.
Take the last levodopa of the day so that you can expect withdrawal symptoms or an off period to start when you want to go to bed. To ease symptoms take the following supplements together with the last levodopa of the day. Start with the indicated doses but if not fully effective, experiment with different dosages and combinations as well as different ingredients that you may want to try out.
· For relaxation take 500 mg of magnesium as chelated magnesium or magnesium chloride. Try keeping a crushed magnesium orotate (400 mg) in the mouth when going to bed.
· 1 g of L-tryptophane or 500 mg of niacinamide help to relax
· Antioxidants: 1-3 g of vitamin C, 500 mg of natural vitamin E tablet, grape seed extract and any other desired antioxidant.
· 1 - 2 teaspoons of lecithin granules (or several capsules) for relaxation and movement control.
· Herbal sleeping and relaxation tablets or tea.
· Experiment with calcium orotate and calcium EAP.
In advanced conditions you may initially experience a period of uncontrolled movements followed by a period of rigidity. After an hour or two your body should relax and you hopefully fall asleep. During the night and in the morning you may be fully mobile without any disabling side effects. However, your energy level will be lower then when switched on levodopa and it will progressively get lower during the morning. During this time the body operates on dopamine stored in the brain from excess levodopa levels while being switched on.
As an alternative method you may take sufficient levodopa before bedtime that your withdrawal occurs when you are asleep. If you can fall asleep in this way and do not wake up during the night with withdrawal symptoms, then this might be the preferred method for you.
As soon as possible after rising have a strong coffee and the following supplements, all designed to stimulate natural dopamine production in order to delay the start of the daily levodopa therapy.
· A multivitamin-mineral tablet providing about 20 mg of vitamin B6.
· 100 - 200 mg of magnesium as chelate or chloride.
· 1 g of L-tyrosine.
· Ginkgo biloba or brahmi, equivalent 2 g of dried leaf.
· 1 g or more of vitamin C, 500 mg vitamin E (natural tablet or mixed tocopherols), grape seed extract, and any other antioxidants.
· If available try 5 - 10 mg of 'activated vitamin B3' or Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD).
· One teaspoon of spirulina and 2 teaspoons of bee pollen dissolved in liquid.
· Try 1 or 2 g of L-carnitine, coenzyme Q10, ginseng, lecithin and any other supplement or remedy that you want to try to increase energy.
Try to delay the first levodopa tablet of the day for as long as possible, but once started take it in sufficiently close intervals to prevent any unexpected withdrawal symptoms before the scheduled nightly withdrawal.
With continued therapy withdrawal symptoms hopefully will ease and ideally you may just fall asleep without noticing distressing symptoms. Also tremors during the day and psychiatric and behavioural problems should gradually ease or disappear. Sufficient magnesium helps to overcome rigidity, tremors, constipation and insomnia while sufficient antioxidants combined with nightly withdrawal of levodopa help to overcome psychiatric and behavioural problems.
In order to keep the nightly withdrawal period as short as possible, it may be important to let the levodopa level drop steeply after the last tablet. It appears that there is a range of brain levodopa levels within which uncontrolled movements are most likely. To move quickly through this range, do not take the last tablet after a longer time interval than previous tablets, do not take a lower dose with the last tablet, do not take a long-acting tablet in the afternoon and avoid any unscheduled withdrawal during the day. However, conditions may be different for you, just experiment. Any of these, as well as emotional, nutritional or chemical stress can increase symptoms.
Parkinson's disease is strongly linked to pesticides and food additives, especially synthetic colouring. Therefore, make an overall effort to live as chemical-free as possible, but in addition have a test period for several weeks where you are very strict in avoiding all potentially harmful influences. Buy and use only organically grown food and use filtered or distilled water. Minimise any chemical air pollution, including cigarette smoke. Instead of taking coloured tablets, use capsules with white powder. That means if you are on Sinemet tablets, switch temporarily to Madopar 200/50 capsules and ingest only the powder itself without the coloured gelatine capsules. Alternatively, temporarily replace the blue 250 mg Sinemet tablets with the yellow 100 mg tablets. If you improve during this time, re-introduce your usual foods one by one to find out which items cause problems and avoid these in future.
Annetta Freeman cured herself of Parkinson's disease with an extensive (and expensive) supplement program. Unfortunately, some of the supplements are no longer available due to the action of health authorities. Nevertheless see her articles on www.ceri.com and specifically www.ceri.com/parkpage.htm .
The best way to improve advanced Parkinson's disease, especially if levodopa therapy is no longer effective, is to have a 'drug holiday'. This should improve the response to levodopa and reduce any side effects. It may ideally be done in a health retreat but is possible at home. It is best to wait with this until the proposed drug, supplement and diet program is already in effect for several weeks or months. For up to one week try to leave off all levodopa, while continuing with a high intake of supplements and fresh vegetable juice, preferably including ample grass juice or alternatively barley grass juice powder.
Oxygen therapy may be helpful, especially in the form of a good or medical type air ioniser. Also an oxygen mask can be very helpful when not on daily levodopa therapy, and may greatly reduce the need for levodopa; however it is detrimental while on daily levodopa, as it causes dopamine to be oxidised at an increased rate, thereby intensifying drug side effects.
Deprenyl or Selegeline
Deprenyl is a selective mono-amine oxidase inhibitor that slows the breakdown of dopamine in the brain, thereby reducing the need for levodopa by up to 30% and greatly extending the time after diagnosis of Parkinson's disease before levodopa therapy is required. However, this levodopa-sparing effect gradually diminishes with long-term use. There is also evidence that it has a protective effect on brain cells as compared to levodopa, which appears to lead to more rapid deterioration. I prefer deprenyl to any of the other Parkinson drugs.
Deprenyl got a bad press from a report in 1995 by the P.D. Research Group of the U.K. that showed an increased mortality from taking levodopa combined with deprenyl. This finding is very strange in that the increased death rate occurred only for about 6 - 12 months in the middle of the 6-year study. A more recent study published by the American Academy of Neurology demonstrated that deprenyl in combination with levodopa is safe and the death rate with this combination was lower than with levodopa alone.
The following diet recommendations are offered as an ideal to show in which direction to proceed. It is up to you to decide how fast and how far to move in the indicated direction.
The main principle is to use an abundance of nutrients with the ability to regenerate the body, and especially the brain. This means the diet should be predominantly fresh, raw and organic. Most of the brain, nervous system and cell walls consist of unsaturated fatty acids and other lipids, such as lecithin. Therefore, unheated fats and oils are a top priority. Most beneficial are the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils, and arachidonic acid and phospholipids in raw egg yolk. Also good are high-quality linseed or flaxseed oil, extra virgin olive oil and fresh coconut milk. Raw fats and oils also help to detoxify the body in a gentle way.
Next in importance are unheated proteins, including (minced) meat from free-ranging or organically raised animals, fish and other seafood, sprouted or fermented seeds, spirulina, pollen and ground linseed. For details see the High-Quality Diet and the Raw Food Diet. As protein can interfere with the absorption of levodopa, it is best to have just protein snacks or small protein portions during the day and a bigger protein meal in the evening after taking the last levodopa of the day. Always take levodopa 20 to 30 minutes before any protein. Other beneficial foods are bone broth (see Recipes), purple foods and fresh vegetable and grass juice, use uncontaminated water. Avoid or minimize foods that are restricted in the High-Quality Diet.
You may try the following supplement program, and adjust it to your needs. Soon after rising take a multivitamin-mineral tablet, 1 g of the amino acid L-tyrosine (before any food), 1-3 g of vitamin C, 500 mg of natural vitamin E as tablet, grape seed extract, L-carnitine, the herbs ginkgo biloba, brahmi, ginseng, and any other remedy that may increase energy levels. Shortly afterwards take a spoonful of spirulina with 2 spoonfuls of bee pollen in some juice.
At lunchtime again take vitamin C, E, grape seed extract and possibly ginkgo biloba, brahmi and ginseng. With the evening meal or with the last levodopa of the day take 500 mg of magnesium as chelate or magnesium chloride, 1 g of the amino acid L-tryptophane (take before food), 1-3 g of vitamin C, 500 mg of vitamin E and grape seed extract. Instead of tryptophane you may get similar benefit from 500 mg of niacinamide.
As a general rule, take 500 - 1000 mg of the amino acid tyrosine before meals whenever you are not on levodopa at the time in order to stimulate dopamine production. Experiment with a multivitamin-mineral tablet with lunch and evening meal; continue using it only if it seems to be beneficial.
Shaking may improve with high amounts of vitamin B6 (up to 500 mg daily) and magnesium (up to 1000 mg) in divided doses and gradually increasing amounts. However, high amounts of vitamin B6 interfere with levodopa medication, and you may need to stop using it while experimenting with vitamin B6. During stressful periods you may keep a lightly chewed tablet of 400 mg magnesium orotate in the mouth.
Various other supplements may be tried to improve vigour and wellbeing. Take a capsule of shark or halibut liver oil with most meals; additional magnesium as well as kelp, lecithin and ground linseed (keep refrigerated). Use additional selenium if it is not provided with the trace mineral supplement.
The herb milk thistle helps to improve liver functions. In advanced conditions vitamin B12 (1000 mcg) may initially be injected once a week, or a vitamin B12 tablet may be absorbed under the tongue. Royal Jelly may help regenerating the body; take it before meals. Coenzyme Q10 improves energy production; the herbs Ginkgo biloba, Brahmi and Fo-ti-tieng are specific brain and gland tonics. Not all of these need to be taken, just try out what is available and see what works best for you. Also experiment with other supplements that appeal to you.
Increase amount and variety of supplements gradually and after improvement reduce to a comfortable maintenance dose. The more you adopt the suggested raw food diet the less supplements may be required. Various Bach Flower Remedies and other Flower Remedies may be used to improve the emotional response. Also see www.ceri.com/parkpage.htm for a comprehensive and successful supplement program.
Clean your body of microbes and parasites by using a Beck-type electronic zapper and magnetic pulser; see the article Electronic Zapper & Magnetic Pulser. Initially use the pulser for only a few pulses on the spine and top of the head, as this may produce a strong reaction. Gradually extend the exposure time depending on your body reactions.
To ease tremors and muscle rigidity have a hot magnesium chloride or Epsom salts bath about once a week. Buy a fertiliser bag of magnesium salts and use half to one kg of it for each bath. Use just enough water to cover the body to make it as strong as possible. After the bath it is beneficial to wrap yourself in sheets and blankets and induce sweating. At other times have a foot bath with a hot and strong magnesium chloride solution before bedtime to help relax and make it easier to fall asleep. This foot bath may be re-heated on subsequent evenings.
Preferably have regular professional deep tissue massage, alternatively a friend or relative may press hard into tense muscles, hold the pressure for a minute or two and knead tense muscles. In addition have gentle relaxing massages. Also have foot reflexology done, especially pressing the brain and neck areas around the big toes, all of the spine, the liver and abdominal reflex areas (see Reflexology) and wherever you find a spot that is tender when pressed. Repeat this once or twice a week.
To improve the blood flow to the brain try sleeping with the head lower than the feet, e.g. raise the foot end of the bed by the height of one or two bricks. Also build or acquire a slant-board on which you can rest and meditate with the head considerably lower than the strapped feet. Alternatively, you may acquire inversion equipment to hang upside down.
Frequently do deep breathing-tensing exercises: inhale deeply while tensing all muscles, hold for several seconds and exhale while fully relaxing. Repeat this frequently during the day. Another important exercise is to circle the head 10 - 20 times in each direction, also try to let the head drop with a jerk to each side.
Preferably have your neck vertebrae and spine checked by an osteopath or chiropractor and adjusted if required. Intentional vigorous shaking exercises help to reduce involuntary shaking or tremors. You may do it with the arms, head and torso, but also in a sitting or lying position with the legs in addition. At the same time breathe very deep and fast. This will release a lot of built-up tension. However, when you are resting, it helps you to relax if you intentionally breathe deeply but very slowly with a long drawn-out exhalation and a pause between inhalation and exhalation. After intentionally shaking and stopping the shaking, you may be able to learn intentionally stopping involuntary shaking in the same way.
Practise meditation - mind exercises daily, see Mind Tools. At first meditate for 15 - 30 minutes or do a deep relaxation exercise and then visualise intense white healing energy entering the top of your head, filling and revitalising your brain. Imagine this healing energy repairing all faulty brain cells. You may visualise the substantia nigra, where most of the dopamine is produced, as a small, grey area deep within your brain. As you look more closely, you see a mixture of white and black cells, the black ones producing dopamine and the white cells being unable to produce it. Now, as the healing energy lights up and fills your brain, more and more of the white cells become black while starting to produce dopamine until the whole of the substantia nigra is now black instead of grey.
In addition, see my articles The Love Cure and Bio-Energies and try to learn and do the recommended exercises, especially energising the brain, the crown chakra and circulating the energies. Either do your own form of energising exercise or learn one of the various forms of Qigong.
Then you imagine doing various tasks that are usually causing problems. Visualise doing these tasks in a perfect way, as you would like to do them that is without any tremors and with good muscle coordination. During the day, whenever you encounter problems, or want to perform a difficult task, close your eyes for a short period and several times envisage performing the task in a perfect way. Then confidently do it.
Janice Walton-Hadlock claims several complete cures and a large number of substantial improvements using a Chinese type of bio-energy treatment combined with acupuncture to restore proper energy flows along acupuncture meridians. She believes the original cause of this energy blockage to be a foot injury, but this blockage could also be due to emotional problems and that is what I believe. Anyway, restoring the energy flows also seems to cure the emotional problems as patients typically experience conscious panic attacks in the final stages of recovery. From her website www.pdtreatment.com you may download a book with instructions for therapists and another one for patients. I also found the article by Clement Meadmore very good about learning to move without the need for dopamine.
In order to normalise the flow of energy through the acupuncture system you may experiment with meridian therapy, tracing acupuncture meridians with your fingers, with magnets or with your mind, see Acupressure & Meridian Therapy. Most important appear to be the stomach, bladder and governing meridian. Furthermore, deep needling of point DU16 (or Gv16) of the governing meridian at the top of the spine (near the Atlas vertebra) was reported to be of great benefit with Parkinson's disease. However, this point is very difficult and dangerous to needle. Therefore you may try laser acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, magnet treatment (try each pole separately for some time and see which gives the better response) and press therapy on this point.
THE EMOTIONAL CAUSE & CURE OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE
I regard the emotional component as the key to the cause and cure of genuine or idiopathic Parkinson's disease. I have come to the conclusion that the real underlying cause is an inappropriate response to panic situations. Instead of fighting or running away in a situation of extreme danger, the Parkinson personality will freeze up and 'play dead'. One may be born with this trait or it may be acquired in this lifetime.
If born with it, then in a frightening situation already as a baby or small child this personality type will freeze rather than scream and thresh about with arms and legs. There is a 'frozen panic' at the bottom of this personality, which causes them to move fearfully through life. However, the affected individual or friends and family members are usually not aware of this. Commonly it is covered by a rather rigid and inflexible personality that tries to control events and conditions in order not to be suddenly confronted by unexpected and potentially frightening situations.
The following case history may be typical for an acquired 'freeze-response'. This individual was a bomber pilot during the Second World War. Over the Strait of Dover his plane was hit and started burning. He was extremely frightened but remained outwardly calm at the controls. Several years later he started developing signs of Parkinson's disease.
In the case of an 'inherited' freeze-response regression therapy revealed an experience in which the patient was being burnt as a witch at the stake. Lately she had been so afraid of fire that she even froze when just watching a fire on television. After I suggested during regression that she mentally free herself of the ropes and run away, she was no longer afraid of fire and her Parkinson symptoms considerably improved. Another patient recalled during regression having been killed in the previous incarnation by frightened bolting horses.
My understanding of the connection between an inappropriate panic response and Parkinson's disease is about as follows. There is a two-way communication between the movement centres in the brain and related muscles. While dopamine dependent nerve impulses stimulate and control muscle action, there is also a communication from the muscles to the brain, relating the responsiveness or ability of the muscles to move. Muscles, like every other part of the body, retain a memory of past traumas. This can be shown with regression and similar therapies. However, in this case it is not just a mental memory, the real damage is done by 'frozen emotions'.
The emotions are the connecting link between the mental level and the bio-energy flows in the acupuncture meridians. The frozen emotional energy slows the meridian flows in the affected muscles and leads to increased rigidity and spasticity by affecting neuromuscular receptors and other biochemical parameters. This in turn leads to a reduced communication from the muscles to the brain, thus weakening the energetic as well as biochemical structures of the muscle control centres in the brain.
This makes these control centres susceptible to other harmful influences, be it emotional stress, vitamin-mineral deficiencies, endotoxins and microbes as well as chemical toxicity from the environment. I also noticed a connection with dislocations in the spine, which interfere with the movements of cerebrospinal fluid and energies within the spine. A combination of all of these factors may gradually lead to the degeneration of the substantia nigra and related structures.
Furthermore, it is known from Reichian or bio-energetic bodywork that the freezing of one important segment of the emotions leads to a general suppression or inappropriate response to all emotions. If the affected individual would start to feel strong negative emotions and especially anxiety, there would be an imminent danger that the memory of the frozen panic could awaken and emotionally overwhelm the mind and body. This must not happen and the only way the individual can keep suppressing any arising strong and potentially terrifying emotions is by tensing the affected muscles. While this gradually leads to more and more emotional and bodily rigidity and maintains the inappropriate body responses in the face of danger, this is the price that the individual subconsciously is willing to pay for keeping the panic memory from becoming conscious.
This basic underlying cause of P.D. needs to be removed if one wants to have any real chance of overcoming the disease. The key to removing the memory of the frozen panic from the body is to become conscious of it and emotionally relive it. This may be done with regression therapy, although one needs to be aware that there may be several incidents in different time frames. As the subconscious mind is very reluctant to revisit traumatic incidents, it needs to be firmly guided in the desired direction and many attempts may have to be made. Most promising is likely to be the exploration of the death experience in the previous incarnation. If successful, then initially the panic-causing incident will only be contacted at the mental or intellectual level. Repeated regressions need to lead deeper and deeper into the emotional aspects of it until the full emotional impact can be felt. This will be a terrifying experience with possibly strong bodily manifestations and requires the presence of a competent therapist, guide or helper.
Normally it will be necessary to get a professional therapist who is experienced with regression work. However, you may do some preliminary or additional work with the help of a reliable friend as described in Mind Tools. After a panic situation has been made conscious, it is equally important to relive it again during regression with the suggestion to act appropriately now and to use guided imagery for this purpose. In addition, use guided imagery during relaxation or meditation periods to imagine using the body appropriately in a variety of dangerous situations.
Until the individual becomes fully aware of the hidden panic, he or she will continue to prevent actually feeling anxiety and other negative emotions by increasing muscle tension which in turn reinforces the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. With this, the severity of Parkinson symptoms can fluctuate very much according to the momentary emotional condition. While good nutrition and supplements can more or less remove most of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease and improve the overall energy level, a real or complete cure should include both, emotional as well as nutritional therapy.
Mark Hurni made a great contribution to the understanding of the emotional component of Parkinson's disease by observing his bodily reactions to emotional challenges. He started developing symptoms of Parkinson's disease in 1990. Instead of using drugs, he decided to try body-based psychological therapies to heal his emotions. His web site makes interesting reading, see www.parkinsonforum.com.
However, the primary mechanism by which frozen emotions cause Parkinson's disease is by blocking or distorting energy flows in the acupuncture meridians and the crown chakra. Regression in a case that I investigated more closely revealed freezing up already as a baby in response to fearful situations. However, the symptoms of Parkinson's disease appeared in adult life shortly after chiropractic manipulation of the top vertebra or Atlas.
This close connection between emotions and energy flows gives us the additional possibility to cure this disease with acupuncture and bio-energy treatment as demonstrated by Janice Walton-Hadlock. Instead of or in addition to her methods you may experiment with acupressure, reflexology, meridian therapy, Reiki and other types of energy healing. Whatever method you use, I believe that it will be best to start with removing the blockage at the foot end of the stomach meridian (St42) as identified by Janice. This involves gently holding the patients ankles with opposite hands (right hand to left ankle and left hand around right ankle) for extended periods. I believe it is best for a female to work with a male patient and vice versa for a more effective exchange of energy. Eventually the increased energy flows will automatically bring the suppressed emotions up to the conscious level and thus remove their blocking effect on the free flow of energies. Ideally, you may combine regression and other mind therapies with bio-energy work, nutrition, suitable remedies and cleansing for a concerted effort of holistic healing.
Warning: As Janice Walton-Hadlock found and I can confirm it is very dangerous to continue using levodopa after the patient has greatly improved. As long as there is a genuine deficiency of dopamine there is no problem, but when the patient has improved to a point where he or she can live without levodopa, even if there is still profound weakness, then this drug becomes highly addictive and it will be nearly impossible to withdraw from it. Dopamine is the most addictive substance in the world.
I had a patient who came back from “terminal” PD with 2500 mg of levodopa daily, to be for 6 weeks without the drug. But to get well quicker she started again taking it. Now she was her normal self moving around freely in the morning before taking levodopa, and afterwards she was a disabled PD patient with changed personality. The more she increased the amount of levodopa the more she deteriorated. Her relatives tried to get her into hospital for a drug withdrawal under sedation. Her psychiatrist insisted that she first try EFEXOR, an antidepressant, although she was not depressed. The first tablet that she took caused strong uncontrolled movements and a few hours later she was dead.
The original cause of Parkinson's disease appears to be a blockage of energy flows in the acupuncture meridians to and from the brain, mainly involving the governing and the stomach meridians. Typically, this blockage was caused by an inappropriate panic response, by freezing up instead of acting appropriately. However, it may also be caused by an accident to the back of the head or the spine that more or less blocks the energy flow up the spine along the governing meridian, commonly involving injury to or displacement of the Atlas or top vertebra. In addition there may be chemical injury to the movement centers of the brain. Assessment of the emotional condition of the patient should be able to determine whether the original cause was mainly emotional, chemical or accidental.
In any case, restoring the proper energy flows in the acupuncture meridians to and from the brain is able to remove the emotional blockage as well. This process may be aided by suitable emotional therapies. With proper nutritional support the brain may then begin to regenerate. During recovery, symptoms may change. Tremors may disappear and freezing up may be replaced by periods when the body appears to experience panic attacks but without any inner feelings of anxiety or fear. These will only be felt in the last stages of recovery.
In conclusion we may state the main rule of Parkinson's disease as follows: Until anxiety and panic can be felt at the emotional level and lead to appropriate physical action, they will continue to manifest as the bodily symptoms of Parkinson's disease. To summarise the main steps to reverse this disease:
· Use regression to become conscious of incidents of frozen panic in your past.
· Use bio-energy work, including acupuncture, acupressure, meridian therapy, to restore energy flows.
· Use guided imagery to train your body to react appropriately in dangerous situations.
· Use guided imagery to circulate the energies and visualise regenerating your brain.
· Use chakra meditation to activate the chakras, focusing especially on the crown chakra.
· Do appropriate bodywork to learn feeling and expressing your negative emotions, especially anxiety.
· Use levodopa in minimum dosage with nightly withdrawal periods.
· Use appropriate remedies and supplements, especially antioxidants, brain chemicals and magnesium.
· Aim to detoxify the body with a Juice Diet or a similar cleansing method.
· Use increasing amounts of bee pollen, sprouted seeds, spirulina and fresh (or dried) juice of young grasses.
· Use antimicrobial therapy, including Beck-type electronic zapper and possibly magnetic pulser.
· Have spinal therapy and plenty of massage.
Update November 2011
I am now convinced that PD is an autoimmune disease. This is supported by the latest research findings (e.g. Genetic link shows PD is autoimmune disease). An autoimmune attack typically involves the weakest organ or gland, one that has already deteriorated because of pre-existing problems such as emotional and other factors discussed in this article. Therefore, in addition to improving these other factors, a suitable anti-microbial therapy needs to be adopted. My article Pleomorphic Microbes - The Hidden Cause of Cancer and Autoimmune Diseases explains the importance of cleaning and vitalizing the blood by removing an overgrowth of pathological microbes. This then allows the immune system to remove such microbes also from other affected organs and glands and with this end the immune attack. Finally, with the support of emotional healing and a high-quality diet the dopamine-producing cells can gradually be regenerated. For further information also see How to Overcome Chronic and Autoimmune Diseases – a blueprint for all chronic diseases, and The Ultimate Cleanse for systematic antimicrobial therapy.