Do we already know about any chemical substance that has been proven to reverse the symptoms of Pd?

GDNF (Glial Derived Neurotrophic Factor) was discovered way back in 1993. In 2005, a study was carried out on human beings in Bristol, England, on 7 patients. One of those patients died from an unrelated heart problem but the condition of all the others managed to improve quite considerably. This story about GDNF has been on and off ever since 2005, with the manufacturers stopping manufacture of the GDNF and the stopping of all trials. Then pressure was brought to bear on the manufacturer to start producing the GDNF again and then new trials continued, but with no promising results so far.

In 2006, at the 1st World Parkinson's Congress, held in Washington DC, it was announced by Doctor Beth Fisher that human beings produce this GDNF, in the brain, when they do certain types of energetic exercise. The studies carried out by Dr Fisher proved that the condition of all those taking part improved considerably, due to the damage to the brain cells being repaired by the GDNF.

Why is it that neurologists are not telling us all about this GDNF. Why are they not telling us all to start doing regular hard walking, to produce this GDNF in our brains, which repairs the damaged brain cells and causes our condition to improve. Why are they carrying on with producing artificial GDNF - which then has to be implanted into the brain - when we could all be producing it naturally, by walking regularly? I think I know the answer to this question, but I will leave that to you to draw your own conclusions.

Have you heard about GDNF? Should it not be common knowledge by now?

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23 Replies

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  • It's easy to say get walking to produce GNDF some people like my husband can't walk for any great distance. Pd 28yrs.

  • Hi Macelott2. We are not all alike and we are not all at the same stage of Pd. My questions are meant to raise an awareness of things that can influence the progression of Pd. I'm interested in what you said about your husband. He has had Pd for 28 years? If so, what is his state of health at the moment? Can he still walk? Can he move around alright?

    John

  • Coped well until 2yrs ago,started getting hallucinations which I found hard to cope with, taken off a lot of his meds which has resulted in him losing his mobility. Now has too use 3 wheeled walker to get about. Very frustrating.

  • Hi Macelott. Medications all have side effects. That is why I am very wary of them. Often, we have to take other medications to deal with those side effects. Then these other medications also have side effects and they have to also be dealt with. In the end, we are taking a whole cocktail of medications, while none of them do anything to slow down the progression of the Pd. I would rather only deal with the Pd, it is simpler.

    John

  • I agree 100% with JohnPepper's above statement about meds/side effects. I was handling my PD somewhat, it is the Dystonia or "Dystonic Storms" side effects that have made my life a living hell! If I could go back I would make different choices.

    I haven't heard of the medication induced Dystonia being reversible even if i stopped the PD med that caused it. Have you John? or anyone else know much about this issue? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Love, DF

  • Clearly £££££$$$$$

    I am currently on the trial, double blind, so may be receiving a placebo; no matter it is exciting and does give that all important emotion of HOPE for PwP. I do use many of the other complementary strategies, such as Conductive Education, coconut oil, low protein intake, relaxation etc., etc.. and to date have kept as positive as I can.

    Have read a large number of your posts and totally concur re walking (if possible of course). It is just about the only time that I feel energised, have a strong feeling that your suggestion it triggers the brain into producing GDNF, may be correct. I certainly hope so.

  • Hi Ksc. I don't understand the pounds and dollars start to your post. I assume that you think I am here for the money? I hope not!

    Which trial are you on? I don't believe that a shortage of any chemical causes Pd. I therefore don't believe that taking anything like coconut oil can 'cure' Pd. Pd is a movement disorder that is caused by a lack of a neurotransmitter in a small area of the brain, where the cells have been damaged by the build-up of a protein named alphasinuclein. We do not know why this protein is built up in those cells. It has been thought for a long time that the cause is a combination of the presence of certain genes and the ingestion of certain toxic chemicals. We cannot go backwards and unwind this process, we can only look for a way to reverse it.

    The body has in fact got its own way of REVERSING Pd and that is a substance called GDNF (Glial Derived Neurotrophic Factor). This name means a repair kit, produced by neurons (Nerve Cells) in the affected area of the brain. This has been known for well over 20 years, but has not been properly conveyed to people with Pd.

    Unfortunately for us, it is not easy to get the brain to produce this GDNF. It can only be done by doing certain types of exercise, like 'FAST WALKING'. Somewhere I have read that the body produces this GDNF when it thinks it is under attack or in danger. Certainly, walking fast would send that message to the brain, when we walk fast, because that action is not 'normal'. When we fight or run away from danger, we are bound to pick up injuries. We would never have survived as a species if we were unable to repair damage caused by fighting or running away. So the body produces all sorts of 'repair kits' to repair organs and muscles and even broken bones.

    Why don't we all know about GDNF? I can only think that it is not in the interests of either the pharmaceutical industry or the medical profession for us to be able to overcome such a lucrative health problem by merely walking fast.

    This is not pie in the sky, because Amgen, a large pharmaceutical company in the USA produced artificial GDNF and in 1993 a study was carried out on 6 Pd patients in the final stage of Pd in Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, England. That study was so successful that all 6 patients improved consderably. Now that must have been bad news for lots of companies involved in producing medication to deal with the symptoms of Pd. So much so, that it took another 10 years before anybody did another trial on this GDNF. Guess what? This trial, and a 3rd one both failed. Can you believe that? After 10 years, they were unable to improve the delivery of the artificial GDNF into the brain and they then gave up on the idea. Amgen then ceased manufacture of the artificial GDNF. There was a big hue and cry about this and the US government made Amgen restart the manufacture of the artificial GDNF. More trials have been carried out since then but with no success. They could do it right the first time but have not been able to do it right since then !!!!

    This all stinks of skulduggery, but I could be wrong. I want to know why, knowing that the brain produces its own GDNF, don't our doctors tell us to start doing fast walking, and we will then produce the 'repair kit' ourselves and would get better, as I have? I had better be careful and not spread the word about all this, but what the hell, at 80, I can't live that much longer!

    Now, added to this mystery, as a result of taking medication that does nothing to slow down or affect in any way, the progression of Pd, our bodies are suffering from the side effects of all that medication and we have to deal with that as well. We are given even more drugs to deal with those side effects and even more drugs to deal with the side effects of those drugs. What a mess we are in, but hey, one day they will find a cure for Pd and we can take that 'cure' for the rest of our lives. I'll lay a bet that that cure will be very expensive and we will have to continue to take it for ever. That to my mind is not a 'cure' it is more skulduggery.

    We have the ability now t reverse Pd, so why don't we all take heed of it and for those who are still able to start doing fast walking, lets get on with it and reverse our symptoms, as I have, and start leading a normal 'MEDICINE FREE' life?

    Good luck!

    John

  • Hi John, thanks for taking the time to make such a detailed reply. The £&$ was in response to your question "I wonder why they are trying to produce artificial GDNF?" My apologies if that was mis-read. 

    You are clearly very passionate about your method of controlling PD and why not? Quite inspirational and I think your arguments make a lot of sense. I DO BELIEVE the walking bit, embrace the concept totally, and that is based on how improved fast walking makes me feel. The rush of GDNF may also explain why PwP when put into a fearful situation are able to do things that they are not normally capable of doing.

    However I feel that care should be taken not to paint all of the medical profession with the same brush. Contrary to your point about failed GDNF trials at Frenchay and no solution being made to the delivery mechanism, work has been quietly progressing. A team of medical people who are equally passionate about finding a better solution.

    I am aware of the smell left by Amagen and again this was my £$ remark. 

    I am on a phase 2 of a GDNF trial, still in Bristol in the UK (now Southmead) and they were at pains to give participants the whole "dirty background".

    As you so rightly point out PD is an individual disease and as such each person determines their own path.

    I would dearly love it to be a "natural way" but also wish to help science move forward in the hope that £ and $ will not prevent a cure.

    Wishing you many more Med-free years!

  • Hi Ksc. I am sorry to not have added the rider about 'Not all doctors are unprofessional', I was in a hurry! I would like to add the rider that 'most doctors are very professional'. I sincerely believe that most doctors are too busy to read all the literature that comes out regularly on all aspects of Pd. The result is that they cannot be held responsible for not being aware of either the news on GDNF emanating from the 2006 1st World Parkinson's Congress held in Washington DC or all the history surrounding the GDNF trials.

    If someone had spent a fraction of the amount spent so far on making artificial GDNF and getting that GDNF into the brains of patients, we would all be doing fast walking

    and many of us would be medication free!

    Can you imagine what the pharmaceutical industry would think of that?

    Kind regards

    John

  • What if you have a back injury that makes it severely painful to fast walk? or if you require the aid of medication to get your legs to work? Any advice John?

    thank you so much for your posts. :-) and sharing what has helped you.

  • Hi Darkflower. I cannot possibly guess what your back problem is. If it is the same as mine was, which was caused by a prolapsed (Burst) disc, the answer is, short of having a laminectomy, is to strengthen your core muscles, which I did fifteen years before my doctor was convinced that back surgery like that was safe. Keeping the core muscles strong and supple, is good advice to everybody for backs. Talk to a physiotherapist about that.

    When you say that your legs don't work, you probably mean that you cannot get them to do what you want them to do. If that is the case, you are speaking to the right man.

    When I had been walking fast for several years, albeit very clumsily and with bad posrure, resulting in falling often, I found that my conscious brain could control my walking without any problem at all. I also realised that all the movements that gave me a problem were things that I did without having to think about what I am doing. I did not think about how I was walking, I just walked. I did not think about how I brought food up to my mouth, I just did it. I did not think about how I wrote I just thought about what I was writing. That means that my subconscious brain was controlling all those movements. It appears therefore that my subconscious controlled movements were using a part of my brain which is affected by Pd. Not so with the consciously controlled movements. So all I had to do was take conscious control of my walking, my writing and bringing food up to my mouth.

    That was easier said than done. I had to first work out what my legs were not doing and then see if I could consciously control that particular part of my walking. In my case, my left calf muscles were not lifting my body-weight up onto the toes of my left foot. I could consciously do this with no problem. All I had to do was learn how to cosnsciously do it while walking. It took a while to get it more or less right, but it still happens that if I am not concentrating on what I am doing I immediately walk flat-footed on the left foot for a few steps until I take conscious control again.

    In order to acheve this I had to not think about walking I had to tell myself to walk but thinking about two movements only. as I put the weight of my body on my left leg and lifted the right foot off the ground and immediately lifted my left heel up up off the ground so that my weight was on the toes of that left foot, as the bent right leg was approaching the point where the heel was about to touch the ground. Then I had to concentrate on straightening the knee of the right leg just before the right heel landed on the ground. My subconscious was doing most of the work but my conscious brain was not willing me to walk, it was concentrating on one leg movement at a time and seeing that the leg was straight as the heel touched the ground and the heel of the left foot was up in the air and the left toes were carrying my full weight. The toes of the right foot were up in the air at about 30 degreees to the ground, when the heel landed. Then I knew that I was walking properly on my right leg and the left heel was hitting the ground perfectly while the right toes were holding my bodyweight.

    While my right leg was doing the walking my brain was consciously seeing that my shoulders were held back and my chest was sticking out and my head was upright.

    That is what I did, but you may not have the same problem as I did, in fact it would be surprising if you did.

    I still walk in the above way 18 years after I first made that discovery. I stil stumble when I am not concentrating on what I am doing.

    When I demonstrate to other people how to walk consciously I first ask them to show me how srong they still are, more for their benefit than mine. I hold their left arm interlocked with my right arm, so that they can't fall. Then I ask them to put their weight onto the left leg. Then I ask them to show me how far they are able to stick their right leg out in front of them, having shown them how to do it first. Then they put their weight onto the right leg and stick the left leg out in front of them. Then I ask them to stand up on their toes. Then I stand behind them and I ask them to swing their arms as high as they can, backwards and forwards. They all have been able to do all these things, better than I can. I have very limited forward and backward movement of my legs.

    Then I ask them why they don't move their legs out as far as that when they walk and they don't swing their arms. They don't know the answer. So then I say, let's just think about placing our weight on our left foot and then we'll stick one leg out at a time and off we go, concentrating on what we are doing and not WILLING OURSELVES TO WALK! They all have been able to do this, even people who had been confined to a wheelchair.

    Why not try doing what I have described here? Get someone to hold your left arm and then go through all those motions. Never stop thinking about what your legs are doing. I would love to be able to walk without having to think about it but I can't. I will never be able to. But so what? I can walk as fast as anybody else and I don't have too many falls anymore.

    Then I concentrated on the posture and that was easy to do. The problem is that if I stop checking it out all the time it reverts back to slouching and bending forwards at the hips.

    I hope this all helps!

    John

  • I had back surgery in 97' for a herniated disc in my lower back and also have 2 discs that are bulging but not herniated so i was told they couldn't operate to correct those. My PD and dystonia aggravate my back. :-(

  • John,

    A few short questions, all relating to GDNF.

    1. Apart from yourself, are there others who are almost med free like yourself? If yes, who are they and why don't they backup your case?

    2. I assume there are plenty of keen or professional sports people who have become PD patients, people who exercise hard and are very focussed. Why do they end up like the rest of us, forced into taking symptomatic medication, rather than being rigid?

    3. Can you supply information on Dr Beth Fisher's research? Links to research papers, data, her presentation to WPC 1, anything you think would be useful.

    4. Does Dr Fisher claim that increased levels of GDNF produced as result of exercise can result in PD patients being able to go almost med free. If this particular point is covered in point 3 above, please ignore this question.

    Thanks in advance, it would help me on a personal project and, I'm sure, help others reading this thread.

  • I fear you are whistling in the wind grey. I have asked John such questions so often i give up. I have also corrected his misinformation on the AMGEN saga but nothing changes. Good luck.

    Check out the thread 2 yrs old called

    "Why is nobody wondering why GDNF has disappeared off the face of the eath. The first trial in 1993 proved highly effective on all 7 people?"

  • Hi Hikoi. I know you think I am being evasive but I am not. I am, as you know, 80 years of age. I am not a good researcher, but I don't suck information out of mid air. I wrote my book in 2002 and the second edition was written in 2006, after the 1st World Parkinson's Congress. I quoted information on Dr Fisher's trials which I mention above in my response to Grey. I did not imagine it and SPRING Times would not have published a load of rubbish. It is unfortunate that SPRING no longer exists and I don't know if Mr John Telford is still with us.

    I am not being evasive or withholding information, I just don't know where to find it, if it still exists.

    John

  • John I quote you

    "have spent the day looking for the original website that I got up having entered "GDNF, Dr Beth Fisher". That website does not exist anymore. That website gave all the tests and test scores.........The fact that I can no longer access that information is a sign that somebody does not want people having access to that information. You can look at all the websites that come up when you enter, "GDNF, Dr Beth Fisher", which are rather vague about the tests. There are no longer any facts and figures available, for which I am not responsible."

    Beth Fishers results are all contained in an article youhave given a link to below John. Are these the results. You refer to?

    ORIGINAL ARTICLE

    The Effect of Exercise Training in Improving Motor Performance and Corticomotor Excitability in People With Early Parkinson’s Disease

    This is it

    bu.edu/neurorehab/files/201...

  • Hikoi, thanks for the reply, I've taken a quick look at the two year old thread, one or two errors stand out, I'll read through whole thing later.

  • Hi Grey. Yes I have had two women this past month and have asked both of them to give me the full details of what, how and when it all happened. Neither of them have come back to me. The one lady is 88 years old and has difficulty emailing. The other is much younger and a personal friend of mine. I will write to her again or better still to her husband.

    I have had several patients who have cut back successfully on their meds but have not yet cut them out altogether.

    To question number two. The answer is that I don't know! I don't have anybody that I know personally, who is or was an athlete and who has Pd. I do know and have worked with people who were good tennis players and who were able to walk properly after I had shown them how. They were all on fairly heavy medication and whether they have tried to reduce it I do not know. I am not in the position to be able to question them on what they do or don't do. I am merely trying to persuade people to follow my lead. There are many who now walk properly, having practiced using their conscious brain to control their walking. Short of getting them to write to you, if I knew your email address, and getting you to believe their stories is another thing.

    At my last support group meeting held in Johannesburg last month, a patient, whom I barely remembered from a year ago, came up to me and thanked me for giving him his life back. He had been walking badly and after I had shown him how to walk he has in that time, returned to being someone who does no longer look like a PwP. I never think of finding out if these people still take medication or what their symptoms still are. You can imagine the situation after these talks that I give. I am surrounded by people wanting to ask questions and others wanting to be shown again how to walk. I never get time to do any information gathering. Whether you believe this or not is your decision.

    A book containing my story is in print and is due to be launched next month. The author is very well known and he has examined my history, first-hand, and has satisfied himself that everything is as I have said it in my book. I will release his name and the title of the book next month.

    I have spent the day looking for the original website that I got up having entered "GDNF, Dr Beth Fisher". That website does not exist anymore. That website gave all the tests and test scores. From those tests Dr Mike Kelly wrote his report in SPRING TIMES and I quoted that report in my book, exactly as it was written, with the written approval of the editor John Telford. The fact that I can no longer access that information is a sign that somebody does not want people having access to that information. You can look at all the websites that come up when you enter, "GDNF, Dr Beth Fisher", which are rather vague about the tests. There are no longer any facts and figures available, for which I am not responsible. Again, it is your choice as to whether you believe me or not.

    I don't think that Dr Fisher's tests made any mention of medications, or whether the people taking part in the study were on medication. One lady, who lived in Cape Town and moved to Norway, had very good results with both the walking and the medication. She had had DBS and when I last saw her, she was not in a good way because she needed a new battery for her implant but could not afford to pay for it. She left SA after that and we only heard from her recently. I have not yet had the opportunity to question her. I will get that information as I am sure she would want to give it to me.

    Various support group leaders will also testify to what I have been doing, but they are not medical people and might be very wary of laying themselves open to controversy. I will see what I can do in that direction.

    You can look at the following websites for information on GDNF:

    news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/...

    parkinson.org/Parkinson-s-D...

    bu.edu/neurorehab/files/201...

    jneurosci.org/content/27/20...

    I feel quite sure that this information is very critical to the GDNF trials and it would not do Amgen or the people who have backed this way of insinuating artificial GDNF into the brain. The natural way of getting GDNF into the brain by encouraging people to do energetic exercise , thereby producing natural GDNF in the area of the brain that needs it, will never generate money for big pharma. Money talks!

    Have you followed the GDNF story, the record of tests or trials and the stopping of manufacture of artificial GDNF and the government intervention making Amgen start the manufacture again?

    It is intriguing.

    Thanks for your patience.

    John

  • John, thanks for reply, it's 1:30am here so off for beauty sleep

  • Hi Grey. These are the sites that I originally accessed and which contained all the results of the trials. I am unable to access them now.

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

    You can try them.

    John

  • Walk-training Increases Expression of GDNF in Pectoralis Muscle

    This may interest you john, but it is a mouse model

    scholarworks.wmich.edu/cgi/...

  • Hi Balderdash. I could not see any information after the title pages!

    John

  • Ive just opened the link,its a 21page honors thesis,not suggesting you read it all but you may find the conclusion interesting

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