Parkinson's disease is a neurological disorder that results in tremors, slowness of movement, stiffness and difficulty with balance. It is also marked by degeneration of cells in the brain and reduced dopamine production in the brain. The disease has an impact on 4 million people worldwide and happens to one in 100 people age 60 or older, but also happens to younger people as well. Current treatments for Parkinson's disease (such as Levadopa, other medications or deep brain stimulation), which traditional medical science has stated as being suppressive of Parkinson's symptoms but not totally curative, will not be discussed in this article for the simple reason that those treatments reduce symptoms but are not cures for Parkinson's. The following article will focus on treatments that have been discussed as being potential cures for Parkinson's disease. This is not an exhaustive listing and these treatments are not widely known at this time; however, these treatments offer hope for curing Parkinson's.
Take the blood pressure drug isradipine. Normally, this drug is used to treat high blood pressure. However, research done by scientists at Northwestern University (Professor James Surmeier and colleagues) indicates it may be useful in healing Parkinson's disease because it rejuvenates the dopamine cells that deteriorate in Parkinson's. Of note, research has not been done in humans yet. But the research on mice indicates that isradipine does slow the progression of Parkinson's and, in some cases, it actually prevented the Parkinson's disease from occurring.
Take the drug methylene blue. This drug is normally used to treat methemoglobinemia (a blood disorder). However, in research done with mice, scientists at Children's Hospital and Research Center Oakland (Dr. Hani Atamna and Dr. Bruce Ames and colleagues) have found that if used in extremely low concentration ("the equivalent of a few raindrops in four Olympic-sized swimming pools of water"), this drug actually slows the process of cellular aging and improves mitochondrial functioning. The drug's impact on cells and mitochondrial functioning is why researchers believe this drug could slow or even cure Parkinson's disease.
Use "3-substituted indolines 2-1 compounds." Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas and Southern Methodist University (Dr. Santosh D'Mello and Dr. Edward Biehl and colleagues) in research done with mice have discovered that these compounds protect the neurons in the brain from degeneration. This is important because degeneration is a major reason that Parkinson's occurs; these compounds could potentially halt the progression of Parkinson's. Furthermore, these compounds are reportedly not toxic for use even when used at high doses, which is an additional helpful factor.
Take nerve cells from artificial stem cells and transplant the reprogrammed cells into the person with Parkinson's disease. This was done successfully in a study at MIT done by Dr. Marius Wering and colleagues. Wering and colleagues, using information from another study done by Japanese and U.S. researchers, took the nerve cells from artificial stem cells and transplanted those reprogrammed cells into rats suffering from Parkinson's disease. Reportedly, eight weeks after the transplant, nearly all of the rats were able to move their bodies much better, which indicated the transplant enabled new connections to form in the rats' brains. This resulted in the rats being able to overcome the damage done by Parkinson's disease.
Take stem cells from the nose of a Parkinson's patient and implant those stem cells into the Parkinson's patient's brain. Scientists at Griffith University doing research with rats (Professor Alan Mackay-Sim and colleagues) found that adult stem cells taken from the noses of rats suffering from Parkinson's disease and implanted into the rats' brains resulted in the rats being able to "re-acquire" the ability to run in a straight line (after Parkinson's disease had previously caused the rats to not be able to run in a straight line). The improvement in brain functioning brought about by implanting the stem cells into the rats' brains and the fact that the improvement occurred only three weeks after the implantation are the reasons this particular treatment is seen as a potential cure for Parkinson's. Another strength of this treatment is that by using the patient's own stem cells, there is no danger the patient's immune system will reject the cells.
Do therapeutic cloning. Although research with humans has not been done, researchers did report that therapeutic cloning did successfully cure Parkinson's disease in mice. Therapeutic cloning starts with removal of a cell nucleus from a single cell taken from any part of the body of an adult. Then in a lab, the nucleus is inserted into an egg cell that has been stripped of its own nucleus. The egg cell is then stimulated to grow and divide into a larger number of cells that are all a genetic match to the cells of the adult. These cells are then processed so that they can develop into specified cells that can be put back into the body of the adult to treat various kinds of illnesses (including Parkinson's).
Use alternative medicine methods for Parkinson's disease that were suggested by Edgar Cayce, who is widely regarded as the "father of modern holistic medicine." For example, in his discussion of Parkinson's disease, Cayce specifically described the following as being helpful in treatment of Parkinson's: improving glandular functioning, use of atomidine (which is a treatment typically used to improve glandular functioning), getting a massage to improve the circulatory system, consuming more calcium in the diet, getting osteopathic adjustments to coordinate the nervous system, using the wet cell appliance (with gold chloride solution) to rejuvenate damaged brain cells and, in some cases, using the radioactive appliance as well. (The radioactive appliance or radial appliance, despite how the name sounds, does not contain any radioactivity. It is a metal can with glass and steel in it surrounded by carbon and packed in charcoal).
Use methods suggested by Edgar Cayce that were not specifically limited to Parkinson's but which were suggested as being helpful in improving health. For example, consume a "nerve-building" alkaline diet and do colonics. Cayce suggested a "nerve-building" alkaline diet as being helpful for all individuals who needed nervous system regeneration and did not limit this suggestion to solely Parkinson's sufferers. (Parkinson's sufferers, because they have neurological illness and deteriorated brain cells, would fit the category of being in need of nervous system regeneration). Cayce also suggested colonics as being a useful general health measure. Although not particularly directed at the discussion of Parkinson's, colonics were important in the Cayce readings as being essential to good health overall. For example, in Cayce reading 1703-2, Cayce states that "keeping the colon clean is that which is necessary for every well-balanced body; hence, should be a part of the experience for each entity." Cayce felt colonics should be a part of everyone's experience, suggesting that colonics may be useful as a general health measure for treating all illnesses, including Parkinson's disease.