Cure for Parkinson's Disease?

Can Parkinson's Disease be cured?

Is there a cure for Parkinson’s disease? Doctors say no. As yet they don’t really know what causes it. There are theories about genetic factors, environmental causes, toxins and free radicals. No-one is certain and until the causes of this distressing disease are better understood, that all-important cure will remain elusive.

It’s tough to be told you have an incurable, chronic illness - particularly if you are among the five to 10% of sufferers to contract it before the age of 45.

It can be easier to cope with an illness, both physically and certainly mentally, if you know why you developed it in the first place. Certainly if doctors knew what caused Parkinson’s, the chances are they could find both a cure and a way of preventing the disease.

A quick trawl of the internet will turn up plenty of “miracle cures” for Parkinson’s. These usually involve taking high dose supplements such as­ fish oils and magnesium. Anecdotally, there are sufferers who claim to have been helped by such remedies but their claims lack a scientific basis.

Some people claim to have been completely cured by removing certain food toxins from their diets and only eating produce that that has not been exposed to pesticides. One theory is that Parkinson’s may be caused by toxins in food and the environment.

Others believe that prayer can help. Thousand of people flock to the holy shrine of Lourdes in France each year, desperate for a cure for their ailments. One 71-year-old man from Holland claimed he was cured of Parkinson’s after bathing in the holy water at Lourdes. Within days his tremors had stopped and his walking improved.

As long as scientists can’t find the cause or the cure it’s understandable that individuals do whatever feels right for them. But it’s important to remember that there are plenty of charlatans about (especially on the Internet) who are only too willing to exploit their fellow man’s misery purely for financial gain.

One controversial Auto immunologist, Noel Batten, took a swipe at the medical profession when he claimed that Parkinson’s disease was a “normal response to emotional stress that can be overcome through personal effort.” (http://parkinsonsdiseasecure.com) He said that doctors were wrongly informing their patients that the disease was caused by the loss of dopamine neurons in the brain ­ (these transmit messages to the muscles and get them working properly). If permanent damage to any part of the brain was the cause of Parkinson’s then every symptom of the disease would be present all the time and never vary, claims Dr Batten. It’s a theory he also applies to other neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis.

He believes that Parkinson’s symptoms such as hand tremors are a stress reaction to a lack of sleep caused by some form of emotional turmoil. This creates tension in the muscles of the neck which in turn affects the nerves which operate the arm. Dr Batten says that if you improve your sleep, by sorting out any emotional problems you might have, and learn to relax the muscles in the neck ­(he suggests visiting a chiropractor)­ then the symptoms will disappear. He claims that people have been cured using his method and says he was cured of epilepsy and MS type symptoms by following this regime.

All this is up for very furious debate and the claims are highly controversial. Certainly better sleep and relaxation have been found to help symptoms…but cure them? The jury’s still out.

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