My colleague David Spry is helping people with Parkinson's Disease get symptomatic relief using nutritional therapies. In particular, he is undertaking extremely careful and holistic research on a nutritional-genetic issue, in which people with a specific gene profile are not only very prone to nutritional deficiencies related to “melthylation” and "folates", but also that this makes them highly susceptible to a wide spectrum of food intolerances. David is revealing the role these issues play in the motor and non-motor symptoms associated with PD, and is demonstrating that, by addressing these, significant improvement can be acheived in the condition of people who have developed Parkinsonism’s in this genetic class. Most importantly, David has pioneered this approach by testing out his conclusions on himself.
While I have long resisted David’s ideas and remained unconvinced for a year, what finally sold it for me was that he identified the role of a “Warrior Gene” and, looking into what this meant, the correlation with my own observations that there is a “Parkinson’s Personality” type common amongst us (high achieving, self-doubt issues, argumentative, stress addicted, and so forth) was obvious to me. Having subsequently listened to what David had say for two hours over the telephone, I was finally convinced.
A couple of weeks ago, I followed David’s bespoke-for-me recommendation to take methyl folate supplementation. Within three days of taking it, I found my symptoms were greatly reduced and found I was walking around the local streets continuously for an hour while between doses of medication (whereas always before I would have to lie down and rest during this stage of my cycle). I also realized my sense of smell had returned. Unfortunately, we are still trying to opimize this strategy for myself, because I seem to have particular issues with vitamin b12 which is an important co-factor (see below).
To manage expectations, David estimates that perhaps half of PD diagnosis could be associated with the particuar nutrional deficiencies/genetic issues and importantly, even if methyl folate helps, the rigourous identification and elimination of problem foods is still all important to the success of this therapeutic pathway. David also suggests taking methylated version of b12 in tandem too is important. However, David always strongly recommends that having the genetic tests done and then working with a good nutritionist or naturopath is also vital.
In regards to the specific populations where these genetic susceptibilities appear, they arise in people with Northern European ancestry and perhaps this could be one reason why North America, Northern Europe and Australisia appear to have higher incidence rates of Parkinson's Disease than many other countries?