July 11, 2016

Did This Patient's Long History of Meditation Help in His Remission of Parkinson's Disease?

This morning while browsing through my daily Google alert for news about Parkinson's disease, I came across this reference:
A potential case of remission of Parkinson's disease
That phrase grabbed my attention. The link I then clicked referred to a PubMed report on the case of a 78-year-old male who, 16 years ago, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease by a neurologist. Initially, this patient experienced left hand tremor, stooping posture, shuffling gait, and frequent falls. After three more years, he showed bilateral motor symptoms.

But since 2012, the man's symptoms have mostly disappeared, and he has stopped taking PD meds. The accuracy of the initial Parkinson's diagnosis is supported by appropriate clinical presentation, history of positive response to Sinemet (carbidopa levodopa), and an abnormal SPECT DaTscan.

This case certainly suggests that remission of PD symptoms is possible in some patients. The authors thought that the man's long history of meditating might have contributed to his improvement, since meditation has been shown to release dopamine in the striatum.

I'll certainly dig deeper into this story. Meanwhile, I'll spend more time meditating.

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