Establishment medicine considers Parkinson’s disease incurable. Treatment options vary for each person depending on his or her symptoms, but they include medications, surgery, therapy and lifestyle modifications.
Parkinson’s begins with slight trembling or shaking, usually in the fingers or one hand. Some research indicates, however, that a reduced sense of smell may precede the trembling and shaking. Over time, the tremors worsen and other symptoms such as slow movement, muscle rigidity, and difficulty walking appear. Doctors prescribe a drug called Sinemet (developed in the 1960s) or other drugs. Of course, they don’t work. Nerve damage is the problem.
Many of the Parkinson’s symptoms stem from the loss of neurons that produce a chemical messenger in the brain called dopamine. Decreased dopamine levels cause abnormal brain activity, leading to the signs of Parkinson’s. By the time symptoms manifest some 60 percent to 80 percent of dompamine-producing cells are damaged or lost.
According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation there may be 1 million Americans living with Parkinson’s, which is more than the combined number of people with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig’s disease. About 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the U.S., and men are more than 1.5 times more likely to have Parkinson’s than women. The incidence of Parkinson’s increases with age, but about 4 percent of sufferers are diagnosed before age 50.