Incidence and Prevalence
Primary Brain Destruction
Morbidity and Mortality
Young-Onset Parkinson’s Disease
Prescription Drugs that Directly Cause Parkinson’s Disease
Medications that can Cause Parkinson’s Like Symptoms
Factors that Directly Cause Parkinson’s Disease
Prescription Drug Medications
Parkinson’s Case Study – Good Outcome
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common degenerative neurological disease, with Alzheimer’s being the most common degenerative neurological disease in the US. It is estimated that PD affects 1% of the total population of Americans aged 60 and older. Greater than one million US Citizens have PD and more than 50,000 new cases are being diagnosed every year. Men are at a higher risk than women, approximately a two to one ratio. PD can be diagnosed as early as age 30. (1)
PD is characterized by a unique tremor, a tremor that is worse with rest but seems to improve with activity. When tremors develop earlier in life, these tremors are usually not recognized as a pending Parkinson’s disease in the patient’s future. (1)
Familial Tendencies: Having a parent or sibling with PD is believed to double a patient’s risk. Five to ten percent of those with PD also have a family member with the same disease. The interactions between genes and the environment can be quite complex. (1)
Note: I believe this connection could be due to genetic tendencies of a family’s biological makeup to have bodies that are not able to excrete pollution and heavy metals on their own. On a stronger note. I believe this could also be due to familial tendencies of eating the same types of foods that might be low in essential nutrient elements that are needed to naturally excrete pollutants and heavy metals naturally. Therefore, it may just be related to bad habits being passed on from generation to generation.Back to Top
Parkinson’s disease is an extremely diverse disorder. While no two people experience Parkinson’s the same way, there are some commonalities. The main finding in brains of people with PD is loss of dopaminergic neurons in the area of the brain known as the Substantia Nigra.Back to Top
Life expectancy of PD patients is about the same of the general population, if given regular treatments. However, dementia seems to significantly impact life expectancy of younger onset PD patients. Statistics say about 25 to 40 % of PD patients will develop dementia during their lifetime. This is a really big deal for them as well as their families. Early detection of PD can delay motor function debilitations, and increase life expectancy. My question: What is their quality of life?
Risk factors which increases mortality of PD patients include:
- Males, (two to one greater risk than females)
- Onset later in age, (early treatment was delayed)
- Severity of motor impairment, (shows extent of neurological damages)
- Dementia or other psychotic complications (demonstrates severity of neurological damages to brain) (1, 2)
“In rare instances, PD like symptoms can appear in children and teenagers. This form of disorder is called Juvenile Parkinsonism and is often associated with specific high-PD risk genetic mutations.” (1, 2)
I disagree: The younger patients I see with PD like symptoms are due to environmental toxins and/or drugs. I’ve seen patients in their 20s and 30s who had the “shakes.” Young people whose bodies just shook a lot. These younger patients all tested with high levels of heavy metal toxins.
It is not known for sure if these young people with body shakes is due only to young-onset PD. However, when these young people “already” have the shakes, they already have a neurological problem, and PD is a neurological disease. I believe not treating these younger people now, will just worsen their body shakes as they age a little longer.
The symptoms of YOPD are:
- Postural instability with or without impaired balance and coordination.
- Tremors of the arms, hands, feet, legs, face and jaw.
- Bradykinesia (slowness of movement)
- Rigidity of all the limbs and trunk.
- Constipation and/or urinary problems
- Sleep disorders
- Changes in cognitive function and memory
My question is this: How many young folks have body tremors in combination with some or all of the above symptoms? Could these be a warning of the potential for full blown PD later in life? Again, all of the above symptoms are neurological disorders and PD is a major neurological disorder. That is the connection and why I feel treating young people who already have body shakes is so important.Back to Top
Drug-induced Parkinsonism is the second most common etiology (cause) of Parkinsonism in the elderly, after Parkinson’s disease. (2, 3)
- Metoclopramide (Reglan): Prescribed for stomach and esophageal problems. Commonly used to treat and prevent nausea and vomiting by speeding the emptying of the stomach in people with delayed stomach emptying. Also Rxed for gastroenteritis to help with gastro-esophageal reflux disease. (2, 3)
- Prochlorperazine (Compazine): Prescribed to treat nervousness, emotional and mental conditions such as schizophrenia. Also Rxed for non-psychotic anxiety. It is a highly potent anti-psychotic. Also Rxed for nausea and vertigo.(2, 3)
Medications for Mood and Behavior Conditions: (4)
- First generation anti-psychotics like Haloperidol (Haldol)
- Second generation psychotics like Risperdal
- Anti-depressants like Sertraline (Zoloft), and Fluoxetine (Prozac)
- Tricyclic anti-depressants like Imipramine (Tofranil)
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors like Phenelzine (Nardil and Nardelzine)
Medications for Medical Conditions: (4)
- Prochlorperazine (Compazine, Stemzine, Phenotil, Buccastem, Stemetil)
- Valproate (Depacon) Rxed for dementia caused behavioral problems, migraines and seizures.
- Metoclopramide (Reglan)
- Gabepentin (Neurontin)
- Repeated head trauma, as in football players. Football leagues have been discussing this risk.
- Head trauma from playing soccer, hitting the ball with the head.
- Heavy metals, in particular: Lead, Aluminum, Mercury, Arsenic, Copper, Iron
- (Iron has to be balanced in the body. Too much iron is bad).
- All Herbicides and Pesticides, most especially Paraquat.
Paraquat is a toxic chemical that is widely used as an herbicide (plant killer) for weed and grass control. In the USA Paraquat is primarily found in liquid form in various strengths. The US EPA classifies Paraquat for “restricted use only.” Because Paraquat is highly poisonous, the form that is marketed in the US has three additives to serve as a warning against consumption. 1) A blue dye to keep if from being confused with beverages such as coffee. 2) A sharp odor. 3) An agent to cause vomiting is consumed.. Paraquat sold outside the US may not have these safeguards added.
- Resperine, a medical anti-psychotic drug.
- PERC (perchloroethylene). The leading chemical used for dry cleaning garments.
- TCE (trichloroethylene). Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a nonflammable, colorless liquid with a somewhat sweet odor and a sweet, burning taste. It is used mainly as a solvent to remove grease from metal parts, but it is also an ingredient in adhesives, paint removers, typewriter correction fluids, and spot removers. Trichloroethylene is not thought to occur naturally in the environment. However, it has been found in underground water sources and many surface waters as a result of the manufacture, use, and disposal of the chemical. It was once used as a general anesthetic in medicine and was also used as a decaffeinating agent in coffee. (2, 3, 4)
A new Synthetic Heroin was found to contain a contaminant (MPTP), which has been documented to produce “IRREVERSIBLE chronic Parkinson symptoms.” (7)Back to Top
- LEVODOPAXADAGO (SAFINAMIDE)
Also known as L-DOPA or L-3, 4-dihydroxyphenylalanine was a break through medication for Parkinson’s disease, developed in the late 1960s. The well-known combination is Carbidopa with Levodopa under the brand name Sinemet. Levodopa is a naturally occurring chemical which can enter the brain and be converted to dopamine when combined with Carbidopa. This was and still is one of the most effective treatments for Parkinson’s. However, after long-term use, the effects start to fluctuate. Symptoms include nausea, lightheadedness, and sudden involuntary movements. These treatments have not changed since the late 1960s.
It is well known that PD patients who respond to Levodopa will experience many “OFF” episodes, which occur more often as the patient ages. “Off” episodes are periods of times when Parkinson’s symptoms, such as tremors and difficulty walking, return despite how much Levodopa was Rxed. (5)
While Levodopa may temporally reduce PD symptoms, scientific reports in medical journals now warn the L-dopa therapy may actually speed up the progression of the disease by increasing free radical production, causing patients to worsen more quickly. It has been shown to lead to further compromises of the brain’s ability to produce energy. (12) Yet, Levodopa remains the mainstay of PD treatment!
Duopa was approved by the US FDA in 2015. It is a combination of the same Carbidopa with Levodopa, but in a gel form. It is administered through a feeding tube into the small intestine. It is generally Rxed to patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease whose response to conventional Carbidopa / Levodopa is varied. Duopa is infused into the small intestine continuously so the level in the blood stream to the brain remains constant.
- XADAGO (SAFINAMIDE)
Xadago was approved by the USFDA in March 2017 as a new Parkinson’s mediation. Studies, comparing with placebo, showed patients taking Xadago had fewer “OFF’ times and more “ON” times, compared to placebo.
Mimics the effects of dopamine in the brain. Usually not as effective as Levodopa, but positive effects can last longer. Administration is via a patch, oral, or an injection. Side effects are nausea, lightheadedness, drowsiness, and hallucinations. Behavior side effects include compulsive behaviors which can include gambling, overeating, and hyper-sexuality.
- RASAGILINE AND SELEGILINE
Helps prevent breakdown of dopamine in the brain. Should not be used with some narcotics or antidepressants or severe reactions will occur. Side effects include hallucinations.
Helps prolong effects of Levodopa. Side effects are involuntary movements and diarrhea.
Used to help combat tremors in Parkinson’s disease. Side effects are confusion, hallucinations, memory loss, constipation, and urination problems.
Rxed in the early stages of PD for some symptom relief.
- ELECTRICAL STIMULATION OF BRAIN
Electrodes are inserted into the brain, which are connected to a generator implanted in the chest. Electrical pulses can reduce the “symptoms.”Back to Top
Parkinson’s is a relentless disease without a cure. There is no drug that stops the progression or reverses Parkinson’s disease. These drugs may reduce symptoms, but the net effect is they accelerate the demise of the patient. (6)
According to medical science, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. All that can be done is slow the progression of the disease by using prescription medications. (6)Back to Top
- HAIR ANALYSIS
A hair test needs to be done on everyone. Our modern environment is highly contaminated with all kinds of environmental pollutants, especially heavy metals. Everyone’s hair should reveal some amounts of heavy metals being excreted via the hair, one of the five natural methods the body has for getting rid of toxins. If not, this is a real problem. It means the patient’s body is not healthy enough to excrete toxins on its own. Instead of excreting these poisons, they are silently accumulating inside their bodies. I see this all the time. In every Parkinson’s patient I have tested, their hair analysis shows zero or little heavy metal excretion. When I follow-up with a urine test, again zero heavy metals. This is very common with Parkinson’s patients. Their bodies are just not excreting toxins like a healthy individual’s body would excrete toxins. When I repeat the urine test again, this time using a chelating agent, I always see extremely large amounts of heavy metals being excreted, most commonly lead. The hair analysis also shows essential nutrient minerals which are needed to help excrete toxins. Parkinson’s patients are always low on these essential minerals.
The heavy metals I usually see in Parkinson’s patients, in order are:
Heavy metal toxicity is well known throughout Naturopathic Medicine, as well as some elect Alternative Care Doctors, to cause neurological damages in both the body and the brain. Heavy metals can and will cross the blood brain barrier. It is my belief brain damages depends upon where the heavy metals settle in the brain. Depending on where the metals settle, diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Parkinson’s will surface. All of the above heavy metals are neurotoxic. All of the above metals also conduct electricity! I believe when any of these metals accumulate in the brain, they cause the brain to “short circuit” through one mechanism or another. The common denominator of these metals and brain diseases, I believe is this short circuiting process. Think of this analogy. Take a handful of fine dust of any of these heavy metals and blow them into your computer. Depending on where the metals settle, different computer malfunctions will occur. It is not the computer, it is the metals short circuiting the computer. However, if the metals are not removed, they will destroy the computer.
- BLOOD TEST
A comprehensive blood test performed by a doctor trained in nutrition, will demonstrate nutritional deficiencies which are known to either cause a disease or allow a disease to progress. These nutritional deficiencies are then addressed using pharmaceutical grade supplements commonly prescribed by Naturopathic and other Alternative Care Physicians. Supplements normally found over the counter in stores and the internet, often do not meet the pharmaceutical standards that Naturopathic Doctors prescribe.
This is very important. A healthy body should be able to excrete toxins easily on its own. A diseased body will have great difficulty excreting toxins, allowing those toxins to silently accumulate. I believe it is this silent accumulation of toxins that is at the root of a lot of health problems in our modern, toxin rich world.
Research has found a PROFOUND deficiency of Co-Q-10 in Parkinson’s patients.
Co-Q-10 is a vital player in the production of energy. It is present in all living cells where it plays a critical role in cellular energy production. Energy deficiencies in certain parts of the brain can lead to an inadequate production of important brain chemicals. This may explain why the brains of Parkinson’s patients produce an inadequate supply of dopamine. Orally administered Co-Q-10 is readily absorbed, well tolerated, and measurably increases cellular energy production. (9, 10, 11)
CO-Q-10 Trial Results: Daily doses of 300mg, 600mg, or 1200mg per day were administered to PD patients. The greatest benefit was found in those taking the highest dose, 1200 mg. Compared to placebo, there was a 44 percent less decline in mental function, muscle function and ability to carry out the activities of daily living, such as dressing and feeding themselves. The Co-Q-10 groups showed a significant increase in the function of cellular mitochondria. Mitochondria are tiny manufacturing plants for production of ATP energy. ATP is the primary energy used in all biological living species. There are several mitochondria in every cell. Individuals with PD appear to have reduced levels of Co-Q-10 with subsequent impaired mitochondrial function. (9, 10, 11)
The latest news by the same researchers included higher levels of Co-Q-10. 1800 mg, 2400mg and 3000mg per day of Co-Q-10. The preliminary results suggested 2400 mg of Co-Q-10 was an appropriate dose for future studies of Co–Q-10 and PD. They will also include Vitamin E in their next study. (9, 10, 11)
The oral form of CoQ10 is Ubiquinone. Your body has to convert Ubiquinone to the active form, Ubiquinol. According to Douglas labs, 100 mg of Ubiquinol (the active form) is equivalent to 300mg of oral Co-Q-10. I normally recommend 600mg of Ubiquinol per day, which is equivalent to 1800 mg oral Co-Q-10. Sometimes I may up the dose to 800mg per day in serious PD patients.
The question is: Is the decrease of mitochondria output in PD patients related to environmental toxins such as heavy metal toxicity?
After analyzing the blood, hair, and urine tests, and to assist Co-Q-10 with brain functioning, I may also suggest adding pharmaceutical grade supplements of:
- Lipoic Acid
- Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract
I believe heavy Co-Q-10 supplementation, also with these additional supplements, will also greatly benefit Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients. Along of course, with removal of any heavy metals which have already been detected.
- URINE TEST
There are two standard urine test a doctor can order.
- The first test uses normal urine to see what the body is excreting on its own. Like the hair analysis, this test is to determine if the body is readily able to excrete poisonous toxins on its own. Again like the hair analysis, this is where Parkinson’s patients always fail. Their bodies are not healthy enough to excrete toxins on their own.
- The follow-up urine test uses a chelating agent well known to remove heavy metal toxins. This is where Parkinson’s patients find their surprise.
“Wow, where did all of that lead, aluminum, mercury, etc. come from? Those are huge values.”
Lead and Mercury are always very high in all of my PD patients.
- TREATMENT GOAL
The treatment goal is to remove as much of the heavy metal load as possible. The hardest metal to eliminate is lead. Lead has an affinity to replace calcium in bone tissue. Normally, when the pH of the body needs to be addressed, the body either places, or removes calcium from the bones to cause the pH of the body to remain constant. The problem with lead is when calcium is removed from bones to address pH issues, lead quickly moves in and occupies the spaces where calcium is supposed to be stored.
Increase energy production in the brain. Energy deficiencies in certain parts of the brain can lead to an inadequate production of important brain chemicals. Orally administered Co-Q-10 is readily absorbed, well tolerated and measurably increases cellular energy production. (10)
Of note: Autopsies have been conducted on people who had caused harm to other individuals, usually using violent means. What was found is all of these deranged people had a very heavy lead content in their bones. (8)Back to Top
NOTE: Not all PD patients will react the same. It depends upon what caused the PD in the first place. If it was prescription drugs, street drugs, or other drugs that was the primary cause of developing PD, the brain may have been severely damaged. This includes exposure to all herbicides and pesticides used in your gardens, lawns and around your homes. Check your neighbor’s use of herbicides and pesticides. The wind will blow these chemicals to your home. Also remember, dry cleaning chemicals are known to cause PD. Drugs can PERMANENTLY kill brain cells, therefore improvements could be vastly different.
If heavy metal toxicity was the only cause of developing PD, improvements can be wonderfully significant. Heavy metal toxicity causes short circuiting of the brain and are well known neuro toxins. Remove the metals and improvements are often significant. Heavy metals cross the blood brain barrier and are short circuiting the brain. Removing the metals results in less short circuiting of the brain, results in less PD symptoms.
Be patient, results could be slow.
WARNING: DO NOT reduce your PD medications without your prescribing doctor’s approval!Back to Top
This elderly male patient had not been exposed to any drugs, chemicals, or other risk factors that are known to cause Parkinson’s disease. It was a simple case of lead and mercury toxicity.
- Walked very slowly
- Needed a push to get going
- Depression and anxiety
- Dizziness and balance problems
- Chronic Fatigue
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Levodopa two plus years, yet progression of PD continued
- No dramatic red flags
- High cholesterol
- Low thyroid hormones
- Early stages of diabetes
- Low Vitamin D
- Low in ALL essential nutrient elements
- Minor traces of lead and mercury
Urine Test before Provocative Challenge:
- Minor traces of lead and mercury
Note: A hair and initial urine test that shows only minor traces of heavy metal toxins is a bad sign. In our atmosphere there is a lot of pollution. A heathy body will be actively excreting those toxins. If the body is not excreting those toxins all on its own, then it is highly suspect those toxins are silently accumulating and likely have already begun crossing the blood brain barrier. It is also quite typical PD patients will be very low in essential nutrient elements. Essential nutrients are necessary to help excrete pollutants and heavy metal toxicities.
Urine Test after Provocative Challenge:
- Lead was extremely and dangerous high!
- Mercury also extremely and dangerously high, but not quite as high as the lead!
DMSA protocol prescribed.
a) Three days of DMSA therapy, followed by
b) Eleven days rest / replenishing essential nutrients that might have been lost during DMSA treatment
c) Follow-up provocative urine testing on a regular schedule to monitor results
d) One year
- Vitamins and minerals were prescribed according to results of blood and hair analysis
- High amounts of Ubiquinol (the active form of Co-Q-10)
- Patient began steadily improving during first year of therapy, then hit a plateau.
- Increased daily doses of: Ubiquinol, N-Acetyl-Cysteine, Phosphatidylserine, and Acetyl-L-Carnitine
- Continued DMSA therapy.
- Improvements picked back up again
a) Patient estimated a 40% overall improvement
b) No more tremors
c) Increased energy
d) Walking unassisted, goes for walks, even jogs short distances
e) Sexual abilities returned to normal
f) Depression and anxiety vastly improved
g) Cognitive functions fully intact
h) After first year of natural therapy, returned to primary doctor, stopped all use of Levodopa
For many years this patient remained at a 40% overall improvement of a normal life. Eventually he died from old age, not from Parkinson’s disease.Back to Top
1) Perimutter, David, M.D., Brain Recovery.com., Powerful Therapy for Challenging Brain Disorders, 2000, page 11.
2) HW Shin , 2012 (cited by 120 related articles).
3) Drug-Induced Parkinsonism – NCBI:
5) Loren DeVito, PHD
6) Eric Bastings, M.D.
8) Citizens Commission on Human Rights
9) Beal, M. Flint M.D., Massachusetts General Hospital
10) Perimutter, David, M.D., BrainRecovery.com, Powerful Therapy for Challenging Brain Disorders, 2000, Pg 22.
11) Archives on Neurology in 2002
12) National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Hope through Research, January 2006Back to Top