We all know that the causes of Parkinson's Disease are complicated, varied, and not completely known. Yet, I have always understood that, at its core, PD is the gradual and unpreventable death of dopinergic neurons caused by the misfolding of a protein and the accumulation and aggregation of alpha synuclein. The longer one lives with PD, the greater the death of dopinergic neurons and the worse their symptoms become. Medication only relieves symptoms, but does nothing to prevent the inevitable progression of the disease.
Isn't that what we have all been told? That's why I have been so excited about stem cell therapy. Even though it's not a cure, it's been described as a refilling of the dopamine tank. Based upon my simplistic understanding, "refilling the tank" seemed like an exciting, cutting edge solution to PD.
Then, along comes Dr. Daniel Jeanmonod and his success with PTT treating lenamm, and M B Anderson, Trixiedee, and Markbit and I am now excitedly, but confusingly, second guessing everything I thought I knew.
Pallidothalamic Tractotomy (PTT) and other forms of Focused Ultrasound have been performed on our friends who have had PD for over a decade (20 years for Trixiedee). No dopamine is replaced. No alpha synuclein is somehow cleaned out. Yet, each of them reports amazing results, significant symptom reductions, and maybe even the elimination of medication.
Everything I thought I "understood" about PD has been turned on its head. Maybe everything our doctors have "understood" is similarly misguided. Maybe that's why the "gold standard" for treatment (Levodopa Carbidopa) has not changed for fifty years. Maybe we have all been barking up the wrong tree.