There is so much active study and research being done continually on treatments for PD. And, because of new advances, you may not have to suffer as much as others before you.
In the conventional medical field, you can find new pharmaceuticals and therapeutic surgical procedures that medical professionals are having some success with. We're going to provide you with information on these in just a moment.
You will also find new treatments coming out of the Alternative / Complementary Medical community.
The most exciting and promising one is the new un-denatured whey protein supplement that is getting major attention as a safe, natural and very effective treatment for PD.
Even some mainstream physicians are recommending it to their patients! And, in many states in the US, it is even covered by medical insurance!
Contact Us with any questions you have, or to receive the information on where to purchase this product. Make an informed decision and get on your 'Whey to Wellness.'
We will cover some of the new Alternative / Complementary treatments, including the supplement we just mentioned, further down on this page.
||The more costly drugs are not always better - the side effects alone can be very expensive. There are more effective treatments available ... and they won't cause your bank account to have heart palpitations, dizziness or diarrhea!
So, let's first get into the new conventional treatments. Some of the latest therapies include:
1. Selegiline (Eldepryl®)
This drug would be prescribed for you when L-Dopa stopped being an effective treatment.
It may also be prescribed on its own, without L-Dopa if you are in the early stage of PD.
Possible side effects of Selegiline are:
- May aggravate the side effects of L-Dopa
- Progressive deterioration of mental process of thought (including perception, reasoning, intuition and memory)
This drug is one of the treatments that can be used for PD patients who are under the age of 65. But not if they have any type of psychiatric disorder.
Selegiline may have some possible neuroprotective effects; however, it remains to be proven.
2. Continuous-release preparations of L-Dopa, like Sinemet CR®), which we described on the previous page. These prolong the concentration of L-Dopa in your system.
3. Direct Dopamine Agonists...
These are drugs that will directly stimulate dopamine receptors in your brain. Some studies have shown there to be less motor function disturbances than those that occur with long term use of L-Dopa.
When your body metabolizes these drugs, they seem not to produce free radicals. Thus, they may be less toxic to your system than L-Dopa.
However, these drugs are comparatively expensive. And, if you have a psychiatric disorder - such as depression, psychosis, neurosis, a personality or behavior disorder - as can happen to many PD patients, you shouldn't take them.
Side effects you may experience when taking these types of pharmaceuticals could include:
- Sudden drop in blood pressure upon standing
- Abnormal sleepiness or drowsiness
- Motor disturbances
- Mental changes
Anyone with a history of mental illness, or who have had a heart attack recently should most definitely not take these direct dopamine agonistic drugs. The same goes for someone with a history of peripheral vascular disease, and those with peptic ulcer disease.
4. COMT (Catechol-O-methyltransferase) Inhibitors ...
When you take carbidopa/levodopa, there is a greater amount of L-Dopa available to your brain, than if you take just the L-Dopa alone. However, not all the L-Dopa makes it to the brain. Some of it is metabolized in your gut and in your liver.
These COMT Inhibitor drugs prevent this breakdown and so more of the L-Dopa is available to reach your brain.
The possible side effects from these inhibitor drugs are:
- Sleepiness and drowsiness
- Increase in a certain liver enzyme
- Motor disturbances
NOTE: Entacapone (Comtan®) is still only an investigational drug in America.
Some of these pharmaceuticals are prescribed as stand-alone treatments, whereas others are prescribed in addition to carbidopa/levodopa.
NEW THERAPEUTIC SURGICAL PROCEDURES
There is very active research going on in the field of Parkinson's treatments. Several surgical options have recently become available.
Deep Brain Stimulation This is a recent and very promising technique to control the tremors, and reduce some of the pain and postural rigidity associated with Parkinson's. It involves placing a permanent electrode in the region of the brain that produces the tremors.
The electrode is implanted deep in your brain, and is connected to a power source placed under the skin on your chest. The power can be adjusted as your symptoms dictate.
The downside of Deep Brain Stimulation is that the stimulatory device may need replacement because of fracture or infection, and the battery will need to be replaced surgically every three to five years.
Fetal Cell Transplantation In an effort to modify motor disability of advanced Parkinson's disease, fetal tissue from the mid-brain containing dopamine cells is implanted into a certain portion on both sides of the brain of the Parkinson's patient.
This procedure is still very experimental. The most recent study results really didn't show much promise. Patients who received the actual fetal cells and those who had sham surgery showed no difference.
Besides, the procedure is very labor intensive. Even if it is eventually shown to be effective, it will not become widespread, at least in the United States, because it requires such a large team of people to pull it off successfully.
Also, the numerous ethical issues associated with the use of human fetal cells will prevent it from becoming widely accepted.
However, there is much interest in using pig fetal cells to transplant into the human brain, and there are studies ongoing now around this.
A small number of patients have actually had the pig cells implanted, with mixed results. A few patients seemed to do quite well, while for others it didn't seem to do anything.
So far, we have no evidence that transplanting pig cells into the human brain transmits any pig viruses into humans, but that's a very big concern and is being looked at quite carefully by both neurologists and infectious disease experts.
Another large, long-term randomized controlled study using human fetal cells, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, is currently in progress. However, results of this study will not be available for at least 2 years. Also being investigated is the use of stem cells (undeveloped cells).
There are a number and variety of these cells in certain parts of the human body, including the embryo, umbilical cord, and adult bone marrow.
They can be harvested and guided to develop into large numbers of dopamine-producing cells, and eventually they should be helpful in managing Parkinson's disease. Keep watching the study reports as they come out.
Currently, the number of people who undergo surgical treatments for Parkinson's is relatively small - less than 10% of patients (1000 patients) per year.
Most of them receive Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) or ablative surgery. However, as techniques are improved, especially cell transplantation, more people are expected to choose and benefit from surgery.
For more information on a very safe, natural and effective treatment for Parkinson's, click on treatments. This will take you to the "Glutathione - A Significant Discovery" page.
Treatments - Traditional and Conventional
Alternative and Complementary Treatments
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