Article on Alternative Therapies and PD

PSP Forum –
Sorry for the screwy formatting of this post. These are two emails below that I sent in August ’06 to the local (SF Bay Area) support group on “alternative therapies” (including CoQ10) and Parkinson’s Disease. (I thought the author worked at Scripps but the institution is Cedars-Sinai.) It’s just easier to copy-and-paste rather than re-work the two emails. If you are interested in seeing these sorts of posts from me, note that I am a regular poster on (Yahoo!Groups). I don’t regularly come to the Forum (because I dislike using anything but email to post and read).

Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2006 18:38:47 -0700
To: Local Support Group
From: Robin Riddle <[email protected]>
Subject: Fwd: “Alternative Therapies” & PD (Co-Q10, vitamin C, creatine, etc)

This updated email will be of interest to those considering NADH, glutathione, massage therapy, and exercise. There’s also a resource list for additional info on alternative therapies.

The “Alternative Therapies” article provided answers to seven questions. I found an earlier article by the same author, Dr. Jill Marjama-Lyons, that had ten questions. Perhaps three questions were eliminated to fit the article on one page in the APDA Newsletter Spring 2006. The earlier article was written perhaps in 2004 or early 2005. Here are the three new questions along with the exercise question answered again (because the earlier article gave a longer answer), a resource list (books, etc) for holistic therapies (“holistic” is the preferred term), and some info on the author:

Should persons with PD take NADH? Similar to Co-Q10, NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide hydrogen) is an enzyme that is involved in energy production of living cells. NADH is not a proven treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Several open-label (patients and examiners were not blinded) studies have shown motor improvement in persons with PD who took NADH. One small double-blinded, controlled study of 10 persons with Parkinson’s disease who took intravenous NADH did not indicate that any improvement occurred in patients.

Should a person take IV(intravenous) glutathione for Parkinson’s? Glutathione is not an approved treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Similar to Co-Q10, glutathione levels have been shown to be lower in persons with PD. Despite many personal stories of patients feeling better with use of IV glutathione, currently there are no published controlled studies proving or disproving it as a therapy for PD.

Can massage therapy help people with Parkinson’s disease? Some persons with PD report massage therapy to lessen muscle stiffness (rigidity) and pain, though the benefit is often transitory and last a few hours or days.

Does exercise really make a difference? Exercise of any kind that does not increase one’s risk of falling is always recommended to increase endurance, improve delivery of oxygen to the brain, heart and muscles, increase muscle strength and mass, and improve coordination, balance and flexibility. Exercises such as yoga and tai chi focus on the mind-body connection and improve balance and mobility for persons with Parkinson’s and many PD centers and health clubs offer these exercise classes. Even for someone with advanced Parkinson’s disease, exercise can make a big difference; chair and bed/floor stretches/movements as well as swimming can be performed by almost anyone. (Note from Robin: the last sentence is not in the APDA Newsletter Spring ’06.)

Resource List for Holistic Therapies
(Note from Robin: the author of the article has a book listed below – third item down. It was recommended to me by someone who used to work with Dr. Marjama-Lyons at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.)

The American Holistic Health Association’s Complete Guide to Alternative Medicine, by William Collinge, M.P.H., Ph.D.

Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide, edited by Burton Goldberg (Future Medicine, 1998), features over 400 holistic practitioners

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Parkinson’s Disease: A Holistic Program for Optimal Wellness, by Jill Marjama-Lyons, MD and Mary Shomon (Warner Books, 2003)

PDR for Herbal Medicine, (First Edition, 1999) Medical Economics Company

Prescription for Nutritional Healing, by James Balch, MD and Phylis Balch (Avery Penguin Putnam, 2000)

Tyler’s Herbs of Choice: The Therapeutic Use of Phytomedicinals, by James E. Robbers and Varro E. Tyler

Eat Well, Stay Well With Parkinson’s Disease,by Kathrynn Holden, M.S., R.D. (Five Star Living, 1998)

The Brain Wellness Plan, by Jay Lombard, M.D. and Carl Germono

American Holistic Health Association P.O. Box 17400, Anaheim, California 92817 / (714-779-6152/

NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) 888-644-6226 /

Mind Body Medical Institute 110 Francis St., Boston, Massachusettes 02215 / (617-632-9530) /

American Association of Oriental Medicine 433 Front St., Catasauqua, Pennsylvania 18032 / (888-555-7999) /

Acupuncture Page Listing licensed acupuncturists in each state,

The Homeopathy Home Page

Nutritional Web Site

About the Author: Dr. Marjama-Lyons received her bachelors degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and her medical degree from S.U.N.Y Health Sciences Center in Syracuse, NY. She completed her internship at the University of Rochester and her neurology residency at the University of Arizona followed by a fellowship in Parkinson’s disease at Kansas University. She was assistant professor and medical director of The Parkinson Center at the University of Florida in Jacksonville, and currently is regional director of PADRECC (Parkinson Disease Research Education and Clinical Center) at the Albuquerque VA Hospital, Director of the NPF Parkinson Outreach Program serving Navajo persons with Parkinson’s and medical director of a new Deep Brain Stimulation program in Albuquerque. She is co-author of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Parkinson’s Disease: A Holistic Program for Optimal Wellness published by Warner Books (February 2003) and author of the National Parkinson Foundation Medication and Deep Brain Stimulation Manuals. She is dedicated to patient education and believes in a holistic approach to care and life.

(Note from Robin: The author’s name was misspelled in the APDA Newsletter Spring ’06.)