Current hypotheses about Parkinson's Disease, including the over-simplified concept that it is primarily a neurodegenerative disease, have completely failed to explain in any rational and coherent way the real life experiences of people living with the disease.
Why do PwP (People with Parkinson's) develop a "plastic mask" blank face? Why can PwP ride bikes or catch balls even in conditions where we can't move otherwise - and why are such exercises so beneficial to us? Why are PwP so very prone to allergic reactions, inflammations and digestive issues? These are just a few examples of the very many questions which PwP have been asking for decades, without ever having received any satisfactory or sound answers via the current frameworks of understanding. Nor have these current frameworks actually provided any solutions which work in terms of allowing PwPs to maintain wellness long term, never mind enabling us to actually get better.
The articles you will find here on the Out-Thinking Parkinson's website document our own attempts to explore fully, and re-think all these seemingly separate parts of the PD jigsaw, with the major goal to arrive at a more valid and explanatory theory which will, and indeed does, have practical applications for improving the quality of life of PwP.
Today, I am satisfied that we are finally arriving at a unified hypothesis for PD, which does coherently and robustly explain the real world facts and real life observations in full. Indeed, because I feel the basis fo this unified framework is actually so obvious and simple, given just a little background knowledge, and that the facts are already out there, there is little point in me repeating it all here. Instead, in this first article on the subject, I would simply like to guide you through the necessary background reading so that you too can quickly arrive at the same point we are now at.
We begin with a very important three part article, which provides not only the framework of understanding for Autism, but also explains the real life observations of that disorder. What I would like us to do is, as we read through all three parts, that we simply replace the word "Autism" with "Parkinson's Disease" and replace the words "fight or flight" with "freeze/play dead" (the difference between these two stress responses is covered in part one of the article itself). As we apply these two changes throughout, we will find that the entirety of the article still makes absolute sense.
I would now like to present here just a couple of examples how this new understanding does robustly and clearly explain some of my own observations about, and experiences of, Parkinson's Disease. In the past, I discovered that spinning around while in a PD "off" state provides temporary symptom relief and can even switch my movement back on. Indeed, I made this short video of the development of a spinning technique for Parkinson's:
in Part 2 of the above trilogy of articles, we find the answer to why this works in Parkinson's is already very succintly explained:
"Why do individuals with autism spin? Because it stimulates the vagus nerve which helps regulate balance. Spinning can actually be therapeutic and help someone with autism to become better oriented. Spinning can help to mature the balance system which is the master integrator for all other senses in the body."
Another highly relevant excerpt from the article is:
"Why do individuals with autism flap their hands? This activity also stimulates and regulate the vagus nerve. The sensory feedback we receive from our extremities helps to orient us in space and tells us where our body ends and the rest of the world begins. In autism, individuals who do not receive enough sensory feedback from their extremities (proprioceptive feedback) have difficulty with their sense of identity and how they are oriented in space."
This simple answer also now gives us the clear explanations behind our own discoveries and articles about how very important hand exercises have been in my own movement recovery, e.g.:
Now let us move to the next background article and read through together:
and, as we do so, let us consider that virtually every one of the suggestions for improving "vagal tone", both here as well as those listed in Part 3 of the article on Autism, are also precisely the therapies which we, and many other people with Parkinson's, have already discovered, for ourselves, are the most effective for improving our condition.
In the next article on this subject, I will continue to explore how this new perspective for understanding Parkinson's clearly and rationally explains all the pieces of the jigsaw we've discussed in our past articles and videos, and how these pieces now fit perfecly together under this unified explanation for Parkinson's Disease.
In the meantime, here is some further recommended reading:
(how many of your own symptom does the above article explain, and how many of the ways you've found to decrease your symptoms does it explain too?)