Parkinson Disease (PD)

Parkinson Disease is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system. The substantia nigra is slowly destroyed and it can no longer signal the basal ganglia (caudate nucleus and putamen) to secrete the chemical dopamine which acts to inhibit the nervous system. With lack of inhibition it is believed that the cortex is hyper excited and doesn’t shut down, causing ridigidy and muscle tremors.

Medical treatment has been the drug Sinemet ™ (Levadopa and Carbidopa) and several neurosurgical techniques which include the destruction of the ventral thalamus, destruction of the posterior ventral globus pallidus and deep brain stimulation. The drugs and surgeries may temporarily control symptoms but can neither stop nor reverse the progressive degeneration of the substantia nigra.

By 2000 it has been reported that 1.5 million Americans have Parkinson's disease. If they all began chiropractic care, and only 1% improved, that would mean 15,000 people better off than they were.

Parkinson’s Disease, Meniere’s Syndrome, Trigeminal Neuralgia and Bell’s Palsy: One Cause, One Correction. Burcon, MT, Dynamic Chiropractic, May 19, 2003 pp. 34, 41-44, 48.

The author found the same spinal subluxation (C-1 or atlas posteriority) “causing the head to project forward” and eliminate the cervical curve in the following patients: 16 Meniere’s syndrome, two Parkinson’s disease, two Trigeminal neuralgia and two Bell’s Palsy. The author hypothesizes that the atlas subluxation interfered with the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) causing excessive pressure in the brain and affecting midbrain function. This subluxation appears to be associated with cervical trauma.

Case histories of a sample of patients are given. The author writes: “When the atlas returns to [normal position], the spinal cord relaxes…All 22 patients improved dramatically after one or two adjustments under cervical specific chiropractic care. "

CNS news July 2002. Parkinson’s Report. Men at Higher Risk for Parkinsons’s

A meta-analysis of population-based incidence studies of Parkinson’s disease (PD) has confirmed that there is a significantly higher rate of PD among men than among women. Higher PD rates in men could be due to increased incidence of head trauma and lower neuroprotective estrogen levels.

Primary investigator Fred Wooten MD, professor and chair of neurology U of Virginia Health System Charlottesville writes:, “I think this further solidifies the impression that men are at higher risk”. According to Dr. Wooten, among the possible reasons men might be at higher risk for PD includes more head traumas among young males.

Upper cervical chiropractic management of a Parkinsons’s disease patient: a case report. Elster, EL. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics October 2000, Vol. 23 No. 8.

This is the case of a 60-year-old male who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) at age 53. His first symptoms were a twitch in one of his fingers. He was put on a regimen of various medications and his symptoms continued to worsen. Over the next 7 years his symptoms eventually included rigidity in his left leg, body tremor, slurring of speech and memory loss.

During his initial chiropractic examination, the patient recalled 6 specific incidences of substantial trauma he experienced before the onset of his Parkinson's.

The patient's PD symptoms were assessed by the doctor's observations, the patient's subjective description of his symptoms and by using the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), a questionnaire that rates the severity of 44 common Parkinson's symptoms.
After 3 months of upper cervical care (knee-chest posture) the comparison between his initial and final UPDRS evaluations showed an improvement of 43%. Over the next 6 months of wellness / maintenance care, he retained his previous improvements and continued to improve in strength, energy and muscle and joint flexibility.

Upper cervical chiropractic management of 10 Parkinson’s Disease patients. Elster, EL, Today’s Chiropractic July/August 2000 pp. 36-48.

Dr. Elster used upper cervical chiropractic technique, infrared imaging of the spine and upper cervical x-rays on 10 Parkinson’s Diseases (PD) patients.

Parkinson’s support groups were contacted and 10 volunteers from 47 to 76 years of age who were suffering from PD from two to 20 years were found. Symptoms were mild to severe.

All patients had been diagnosed with PD by neurologists and were on medication. The patients were asked to continue their medical care and not make any changes during the three months of chiropractic care. Interestingly, nine of ten patients reported having suffered a trauma preceding the onset of PD symptoms.

Of the ten patients, 8 improved. The two who had not improved were both men over 65 years of age with approximately eight year histories of the disease. Each of the eight improved patients noticed improvements within the first 30 days of care. They reported an increase in energy level and/or sleep and showed a decrease in spinal pain and/or rigidity. Six out of 10 patients showed 21-43% overall improvement.

Correction of patients with shaking palsy (Parkinson’s Disease) in Palmer, BJ The Subluxation Specific, The Adjustment Specific, Chicago: Palmer School of Chiropractic, 1934 pp. 862-870.

Neurocalometer (NCM) heat readings of the neck musculature and cervical x-rays were the means of spinal analysis and the chiropractic adjustment was to the upper cervical spine using a toggle recoil (by hand) adjustment. Improvement or correction was noticed in patients with “tremor, shaking, muscle cramps, muscle contracture, trouble walking, numbness, pain, inability to walk and muscle weakness.”

Copyright 2004 Koren Publications, Inc. & Tedd Koren, D.C.

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