December 29, 2010
Today's meeting with my neurologist
I had my regular quarterly meeting today with Dr. Bahroo, my neurologist, at his office in the Georgetown University Hospital. I first saw him almost exactly a year ago, just 3 months after my initial diagnosis with PD. At that initial examination, he rated me as a 13 on the United Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, indicating a mild disability. Today he rated me as a 7. (The lower the score, the better.) The improvement was due at least in part to my taking and applying the BIG exercise program for people with PD.
We then discussed some of the supplements and meds being studied and tested for PD.
Dr. Bahroo said that he was going to start suggesting his patients give this a try based on the anecdotal evidence of its efficacy that.he is getting from patients like me.
I asked about this because I had come across reports of a study indicating that people taking this supplement were able to reduce their levodopa meds since CDP Choline seems to have the effect of increasing dopamine in the brain. Here's an excerpt from one of these reports:
"In a 4-week, single-blind study of 74 people with Parkinson's disease, researchers tested whether oral CDP-choline might help levodopa be more effective.5 Researchers divided participants into two groups: one group received their usual levodopa dose, the other received half their usual dose without knowing which dosage they were getting. All the participants took 400 mg of oral CDP-choline 3 times daily.
Even though 50% of the participants were taking only half their usual dose of levodopa, both groups scored equally well on standardized tests designed to evaluate the severity of Parkinson's disease symptoms"
Dr. Bahroo said he was aware of these studies. But, he said, only a small amount of CDP Choline is needed by the brain and can usually be supplied by a diet that includes green leafy vegetables and/or eggs.
I asked about this because of a report I'd seen of a study at the University of Minnesota's School of Medicine which "found that isradipine, a drug widely used to treat hypertension, rejuvenates stressed-out dopamine neurons to their vigorous younger selves in animal models of the disease" A national clinical trial is now underway to determine if similar results can be found in humans.
Dr.Bahroo was also familiar with this pending study. He saw no problem if I wanted to discuss this with my internist when I have my annual physical in a few months. I've been taking other blood pressure meds for years with good results. But I'll talk with my internist about experimenting with a switch to Isradipine to see if it works on keeping my BP under control and does not give me any side effects.
BIG Exercise Program
At Dr. Bahroo's recommendation, I took this program at Georgetown University Hospital's physical therapy facility this summer. I found it very helpful.
Dr. Bahroo said that since the program' is very intensive, it may not be as suitable for people with later stages of Parkinson. Also the initial training program, which involves two training sessions a week for four weeks, may be difficult for some people to schedule.
I plan to do a post on this and other exercise programs in the near future.