Hi all, it's 5 am and I can' t sleep (again), so I thought it was time to share m thoughts on some of the research I have been doing into possible ways of improving my lot. Please bear with an typos i miss, as apart from PD I have to contend with a keyboard with a broken "T" and a cat that insists on climbing inside my dressing gown (it's b***** cold in Christchurch).
I was diagnosed with PD about six years ago and was told very little about he disease and even less about what could be done to slow down the inevitable decline. I was told that, with luck, there would be about a ten year "honeymoon period" before the symptoms would really kick in and have to be managed. In the meantime, 'here's some pills, come back and see me in about a years time and we'll change the dose, if necessary'. So, after a few years of this, and with more time once I had retired ( I'm 67 now). I decided to find out if there was more I could be doing. I have read a lot of books since then, some rubbish, some valuable, and have come up with some ideas that I want to share, Nothing is all that earth shattering, but I put it out there to discuss. i will give the titles of the books (if I can remember them exactly) I have found to be most useful.
Firstly, one thing I have found very useful to me - I was approached by the NZ Brain Research Institute (formerly Van Der Val inst) to take part in some research programmes, so every couple of years I get a test of my memory and cognitive ability, so I have a definite record of my current status and and changes.
This appears to be more important than is currently recognised by the medical profession. There has been a lot of recently published information of the importance of good nutrition, most of which has been dismissed as fads , but there are some common themes that are worth checking on. If, as recently stated at a PD society information session, chronic constipation is now recognised as a symptom of PD, shouldn't we be looking at ways to improve our diet and reduce our need for dealing with this uncomfortable problem? It would seem the various "low carbohydrate , good fat" diets have a case worth considering. I have been reducing my carb intake and increasing "good" fats (olive oil, coconut oil, and butter, cream and fat from healthy grass fed animals), and adding good protein and lots of (above ground) vegetables. I'm still working on my sugar addiction!
What if there was a cure for Alzheimers
Healthy brain, happy life
The Paleo Approach
The Coconut oil Diet
The woman who Changed her Brain
I go to a exercise called PD Warrior here in Christchurch, it was developed in Australia. The book Healthy Brain, happy life also mentions an exercise group that targets that improve the brain functions. It seems that the best workouts are vigorous and varied to stimulate the regrowth of brain cell connections
I'm not talking about surgery, but i seems that the more we use our brains the more brain we keep. several books mention "neuroplasticity' , whereby your brain can be stimulated into renewing damaged cells by constantly challenging the brain with new stimuli, puzzles, learning a new language, a new skill, whatever. I haven't seen any research specifically with PD, but, hey, what's there to lose?
I've heard there were "promising" results in a recent study of the beneficial effects of blackcurrants. It will probably be years before anything comes of it, but in the meantime I have started taking a blackcurrant supplement - again what hove I got to lose!
I hope this is of interest or help to someone. It seems to me that we don't have to sit back waiting for things to happen, if we just knew what we could do.