I recently sent this email to someone newly diagnosed with PD.
I was 51 when diagnosed in January 2003. I had a tremor in one finger, did not swing my left arm when I walked, and lost my sense of smell 20 years before. When an MRI came up clear (no tumor) I got the diagnosis of parkinson’s.
I went through months of angst and denial – but the diagnosis was correct (unfortunately). But you can help yourself. This does NOT have to be as terrible as you fear. Here are some things I’ve learned in dealing with this disease, and for your health – I recommend you start them now:
There is a lot of evidence that EXERCISE can help – so an overweight couch potato like me now walks, swims and bikes (nearly) every day. Do anything – everything you can do starting NOW: yoga, tai chi, weight training, walk, treadmill, bike, etc etc – every day – do as much as you can and start now. While there is nothing proven to slow the progression, exercise may help, plus there are supplements and foods that have shown that they may help (eat/take them now):
• Dark berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberies, etc)
• Dark grape juice
• Curcumin supplements (an ingredient of curry) has shown to be very good for the brain
• Coenzyme Q10 in mega doses may slow the progression – try to take 1200mg per day
• Eat broccoli (!)
IF you get a PD diagnosis, the NIH is looking for people with early PD – not on PD medication yet. Whatever the diagnosis – do NOT let doctors start you on pd medications until you think about clinical trials. There are trials going on right now for substances that may be neuroprotective. (I have participated in 5 trials so far…)
here is a bulletin board for people with pd –http://neurotalk.psychcentral.com/forumdisplay.php?f=34