Diagnosis and Acupuncture: After having... - Cure Parkinson's

Cure Parkinson's

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Diagnosis and Acupuncture

MJKittyLover profile image
18 Replies

After having another Datscan this past year, my PD diagnosis was confirmed and I was told that my first test actually pointed to PD, though they had told me it was normal. I started taking Rytary and did not find that it helped my tremor, but other physical symptoms had mostly resolved before I started the meds. I took the Rytary for close to a year. I tolerated it well, but was unsure if it was actually doing anything. It didn't seem to matter whether I took it or not. Symptoms neither improved or worsened. My movement specialists increased my dosage, and again, my right hand tremor did not improve. I began to develop a tremor in my left hand. My memory and focus have also gotten progressively worse over the past few years regardless of medications. I retired from a very stressful job as a Controller at the end of 2020. I do feel that reducing that stress has had some positive effects on anxiety. the problem now is that I am on an Medicare plan that doesn't cover the Rytary and I have switched to generic C/L. It didn't seem to make much difference. Then we increased the dosage to see if it would have any effect on the tremor. It didn't help. Maybe the tremors even got worse, but I started having compulsive facial movements, like pursing my lips and squinting my nose. It was alarming, so I cut my dose in half and notified me doctor. within a couple of days the side effects stopped. I have about given up on treating the tremor with meds. Does anyone have any advice? I am thinking about looking into acupuncture for the tremor. Has anyone had any luck with that?

18 Replies
park_bear profile image

The compulsive facial movements are probably dyskinesias. Dyskinesias are the result of too much levodopa. Rytary is a time release version of levodopa which provides a very even amount of levodopa over time. Generic carbidopa levodopa has two versions: immediate release (IR) and extended release(ER). The extended release version is more like Rytary but the immediate release version is often prescribed by default. Detailed information about the difference here: healthunlocked.com/cure-par...

All this is probably moot - levodopa is strictly for symptom relief. If it does not relieve your symptoms there is no point in taking it.

A vigorous exercise program is essential, preferably daily

Interventions to consider:

High-dose thiamine, highdosethiamine.org/

Mannitol, sign up here for dosage information: clinicrowd.info/parkinsons-... General Information: google.com/search?Q=Mannito...

Cinnamon helped with my motor impairment but did not improve my tremor healthunlocked.com/cure-par...

MJKittyLover profile image
MJKittyLover in reply to park_bear

I really appreciate your response. I have not been on the website since I first posted this. I had to change my email address after retiring. I do take 500mg daily and use cinnamon daily. Are you suggesting cinnamon in a supplement? I am still on C/L, but not the extended release. It has not helped my tremor and I am developing a tremor in my other hand now. I may discontinue the C/L. I have an on/off test in March, in case it may be helping some of the other symptoms. Currently my cognitive issues are the only other things I really notice. Trouble with memory and focus. I have not tried the Mannitol. I will research. The exercise program is something I need to be better about, for sure. Thanks for your suggestions.

park_bear profile image
park_bear in reply to MJKittyLover

Please read my report on cinnamon here. They let me know if you have any questions:


PixelPaul profile image

It is possible you might have one of the parkinsonism plus (sometimes called atypical parkinsons) disorders. These typically appear with symptoms similar to PD, but are often not responsive to Levodopa.

Gratitude60 profile image

Exercise, exercise, exercise - it appears to be the only thing that is proven to slow the progression, and so far it is keeping my symptoms minimal. Cardio, movement (like gyrotonics/gyrokinesis), and strength training are all important.

Developing a meditation practice would be another recommendation. Stress immediately brings out my tremor, even a minor thing like being late for something and rushing around. I am learning to have more of a "so what, whatever" attitude, which has never been my nature.

I transitioned to a vegan with fish/seafood diet. Dr. Laurie Mischley's ongoing study shows that her PD patients that eat fresh veggies, fruit, nuts and don't eat meat or dairy do better.

I take Glutathione; I add cinnamon & clove to my smoothies

I also started Mannitol about 6 weeks ago. I can't yet say I have noticed anything but will continue with it as it appears to be w/o side effects.

Even if you are not a patient of Dr. Mischley, she offers a very comprehensive educational series pd-school.teachable.com/p/b.... The orientation is free.

Wishing you the best.

sharoncrayn profile image

C/L meds do not reduce or mitigate tremor. nothing in any CT or study suggests they do or can on a macro PD population basis.

As to your DaT scan, your nuclear radiologist "should have provide" you doctor and you a detailed report specifically concerning findings in his/her image analysis explaining your change.

kevowpd profile image
kevowpd in reply to sharoncrayn

"C/L meds do not reduce or mitigate tremor"

Uh? What?


sharoncrayn profile image
sharoncrayn in reply to kevowpd

you conveniently took my comment out of context.

the context? "on a macro PD population basis" i.e. not "one off " comments where someone states that C/L generics did reduce tremors initially. You have to look at the PD population as a whole; not in singularities which will always exist.

In general Sinemet was never seen in its Clinical trials (both IR and CR) as primarily an anti-tremor drug. This is why amantadine etc. was approved for tremors even with its proven retina toxicity due to C/L (Sinemet) probably eventually causing dyskinesia (i.e. tremors, muscle twisting, rigidity etc.) in most PwP.

Sinemet CR4 (50/200) in its Clinical trials versus IR did reduce tremor more effectively than IR. (p= .001)...1989, 1992,etc. but did increase dyskinesia long term (p =<.05) and reduce ON time.

But not all sinemet CTs agreed with the above assessment, especially related to dyskinesia. one CT noted: "Improvement at one year (due to CR) was noted for less action and postural tremor and decreased duration of dyskinesias for both comparison periods (vs. IR). There was elimination of early morning dystonia at one year over the CR period and more hours "on" without dyskinesias".

Unfortunately, these comparative CTs were from "really tiny" participant populations (<20).

on a side note, KC Yeh's study is interesting:

Results indicate a levodopa bioavailability of 71% for Sinemet CR, in contrast to a bioavailability of 99% for Sinemet for these subjects. The carbidopa bioavailability of Sinemet CR was 58% relative to that of Sinemet.

Systemic decarboxylase inhibition was comparable between the 2 regimens as indicated by the renal clearance of levodopa. The absorption of levodopa was slower and more protracted with Sinemet CR than with Sinemet.

****Food increased the levodopa bioavailability of Sinemet CR (contrary to popular opinion on HU) . This increase was attributed to an increased gastric retention time. No dose-dumping occurred with Sinemet CR in either the nonfasting or the fasting state.

Levodopa bioavailability was lower in young volunteers than in elderly volunteers. This was attributed to an age-related decrease in gastric emptying and in 1st-pass metabolic decarboxylation in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.


kevowpd profile image
kevowpd in reply to sharoncrayn

I took nothing out of context. I extracted a complete sentence from your post. I then referred to a site where 83% of 27,000 peoole indicated that CL is moderately effective to very effective for tremor. Hardly 'singularities', and an awful lot more participants than the CTs you posted.

What you said was wrong, and posting slabs of text, none of which appear to even support your assertion (and in fact, this bit 'Sinemet CR4 (50/200) in its Clinical trials versus IR did reduce tremor more effectively than IR. literally states that CR4 was at least somewhat effective for tremor) does not change that.

sharoncrayn profile image
sharoncrayn in reply to kevowpd

My complete context = "C/L meds do not reduce or mitigate tremor. nothing in any CT or study suggests they do or can on a macro PD population basis."

You reference = "83% of 27,000 peoole indicated that CL is moderately effective to very effective for tremor. " (from patientslikeme.com)

#1 Your reference isn't a CT or study. How did someone arrive at this conclusion you are quoting?

27,000 members completed a survey on tremors???...83% of members responding stated c/l was moderately to very EFFECTIVE IN REDUCING TREMORS??? Or did you mean of 26,865 total posts covering this topics were tabulated and extrapolated to ALL members??? I don't see ANY type of report that provides any specifics. It is a generic statement without any basis provided.

#2 If you study the 133 reviews provided by PLM.com about c/l's effectiveness, I don't see tremors even mentioned.

#3 My reference CTs compared CR to IR, nothing more. NO placebo was used.

MJKittyLover profile image
MJKittyLover in reply to sharoncrayn

I have continued to take the C/L and have had no improvement. I'm considering discontinuing it after I have an on/off test in March.

sharoncrayn profile image
sharoncrayn in reply to MJKittyLover


Some people never see any or very little improvement/change with the popular PD drugs. contrary to popular opinions. efficacy rates from the numerous clinical trials always showed variations especially in the weak placebo trials.

Although many of the more specific "challenge" trials and case studies showed a response rate between 75-90%, DE NOVO, I doubt it came even close to that in real life, particularly if the PD had progressed beyond a certain point when undertaking the challenge or the dysfunction was not typical (rigidity vs tremor vs pain vs depression). Also many challenges were confusing with problems scaling aLR vs %LR correctly.

Schade's small study in 2017/ he used 250 mg of levodopa. see also Zheng, 2021,3x150

clearly in Zheng not everyone received the same clinical benefits using TLR vs SLR protocols when they differed by type of dysfunction.

Finally, we know that one of the major limitations of levodopa therapy is the risk of development of motor fluctuations and dyskinesia related to the short half life of the drug, coupled with progressive decline of neuronal dopamine storage capacity.

no easy answers.


ParlePark profile image

Started c/l in August. Tremors were not reduced until 6 weeks plus after I began taking it. I take 1.5 25/100 three times a day. My tremors are greatly reduced with c/l. It definitely took a while for it to quell the tremors.

Frankieh profile image

Hi from Arizona. The tremor in my feet drive me crazy. I am lucky as Sinemet helps me but I do not like to take medicines. I find that acupuncture does help me. I had an acupuncture session yesterday and noticed a big difference in my tremor. I also find if I run a meditation tape at night that it calms my tremors so that I can sleep. Also intense exercise is critical.

MJKittyLover profile image
MJKittyLover in reply to Frankieh

I did try the acupuncture for several months, a couple of times per week. I really enjoyed it and it helped my anxiety a lot, but not the tremor. The doctor told me it would be a real challenge and he finally told me that it wasn't helping me to the extent he felt I should continue.

Irwinmudgee profile image

I first realised there was something amiss when I couldn't change the station on my push button radio in my car because my left index finger was shaking so much. Guessed it was something neurological and consulted a local acupuncturist who had remedied a chronic back problem I'd had some time before. Four sessions no improvement in my finger tremor and other symptoms started to. appear. My G.P. thought it might be Parkinson's referred me to neurologist who confirmed it was Parkinson's. That was in 2016. Still visit acupuncturist for back problem when it reoccurs and his back massage and needles still give relief, but he freely admits Parkinson's beyond his abilities . But acupuncture definitely helps with relaxing tight muscles and my posture improves for a couple of weeks after a session. I humbly suggest you might suck it and see.

MJKittyLover profile image
MJKittyLover in reply to Irwinmudgee

I did try the acupuncture for several months, a couple of times per week. I really enjoyed it and it helped my anxiety a lot, but not the tremor. The doctor told me it would be a real challenge and he finally told me that it wasn't helping me to the extent he felt I should continue.

kaypeeoh profile image

The first post was from 10 months ago. I studied acupuncture 10 years ago. Tremor could be yang excess. I tried self-treatment with dry needling but didn't see any change. Often even with L-dopa treatment the tremor is unchanged.

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