Earlier this week we received some questions from a student who was working on a project for school. Since it's easier to create a questionnaire when you already know the answers, we've revised the question list and are presenting it here with the introductory remarks we also provided.
Introduction Please understand that this patient is only in between phase 1 and 2 and hopefully with the help of the medications he is taking and the addition of supplements and physical-type therapy, we will be able to hold the PD where it is now for awhile. You should know that each patient will manifest symptoms in a slightly different way; certain symptoms may never appear in some patients. Some patients progress rapidly from stage to stage.
Advanced stage PD patients might not be able to answer your questions. At that point you might need to talk to the caregiver and even they might not be able to answer precisely for obvious reason that they are not in the mind of the patient. By this time dopamine levels in the brain have fallen so severely that the remaining neurotransmitter cells cannot function well enough to prevent contracture of the limbs and sometimes the torso. This is more common in patients with psychosis. At the advanced stage the dopamine auto-receptors do not seem to be functioning much if at all.
There are different courses of treatment for patients as some prefer to postpone levadopa medications in favor of levadopa agonists or diet, exercise and supplements. Many of the medications have side effects either short term or within a few years that impact a decision for that line of treatment. There is also some surgery which is about 50% effective in reducing the need for medication. Other courses of treatment include diet, natural supplements and types of physical therapy including exercise therapy, dance therapy, yoga, breathing, voice exercises, swim therapy and massage therapy.
He also takes several supplements about which we have written before. He takes CoQ10, Turmeric, Nettle Root, sublingual Glutathione, vitamin B complex, a multivitamin with almost no iron or other heavy metals, slippery elm and fenugreek and a few others. Some of them are obviously helping. For one month we added a zinc ascorbate with vitamin C to help restore a bit of his sense of smell...which it has. He won't take that again for another month or two because taking for longer is contraindicated.