Last month, Neil Diamond was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
The 77-year-old entertainer — who gave us amazing hits like "Sweet Caroline" — announced he was retiring from touring because of the degenerative brain disorder.
At this early stage of his diagnosis, Diamond is still looking at different treatment options.
The standard therapy for Parkinson’s patients is a Big Pharma drug called Levodopa. This drug can help control tremors, but it comes with a laundry list of serious side effects.
They include nausea, vomiting, and abnormal involuntary movements. They can also affect speech, swallowing, breathing and balance. And the drugs often stop working as time goes on.
Another option the singer is considering is deep brain stimulation (DBS).
DBS involves placing an electrode in the brain connected to a pacemaker. The electrode connects to brain areas that control movement. It delivers an electrical signal that helps control tremors and shaking.
DBS can relieve these symptoms. But it doesn’t slow or reverse the advance of Parkinson’s disease (PD).
And it’s not without risks. DBS can make thinking or memory problems worse. Complications include bleeding, stroke and infection.
The truth is, there’s a better way to treat Parkinson’s disease.
It’s what I use at the Sears Institute for Anti-Aging Medicine. It’s called Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy or HBOT.
HBOT is simply breathing in 100% oxygen under higher pressure than we have normally in the atmosphere.
Since the 1930s, HBOT has been used to help deep-sea divers heal from the “bends,” or decompression sickness. And since the 1960s, it’s been used for victims of carbon-monoxide poisoning.
Many hospitals and healing centers now use HBOT as a standard protocol for wound healing after surgery. They also use it to speed the healing of wounds caused by poor circulation and diabetes.
Some NFL athletes even own hyperbaric chambers to help their brains heal after an injury.
It’s one of the most powerful anti-aging therapies we have.
And now studies show that HBOT improves behavioral and motor deficits in Parkinson’s patients.
In one study, a 72-year-old man with PD was treated with HBOT five times a week. In just five weeks, he was able to reduce and finally stop his PD drugs. He could talk more easily. His hand movements improved up to 32%.1
Researchers concluded that HBOT could be an effective treatment for PD without the adverse side effects of PD drugs. They also said it may stop cell death of neurons and slow the progression of PD.2
In another study, HBOT was used to treat 64 patients suffering from Parkinson’s. Each patient received daily treatments that lasted 40 to 60 minutes. Fifty-five of the patients saw improvement in their symptoms after just eight to 12 treatments!3
HBOT involves breathing in 100% oxygen under high pressure. It floods your entire bloodstream with oxygen. You sit or lie down in a pressurized chamber. You breathe 100% oxygen into your lungs and absorb it through your skin.
And there are no negative side effects.
If you would like more information about this therapy, please contact my staff at 561-784-7852. They will be happy to explain how HBOT might help you.
If you are not able to come to the Sears Institute, you can still find a reputable HBOT provider in your area.
My recommendation would be to find a doctor who shares my philosophies and who understands the benefits of HBOT.
One way is to visit the website of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Move your cursor to the “Directory” tab on the right hand side of the page. Then click on “Find a Doctor” to locate a physician in your area who offers HBOT.
Nature’s Proven Brain Boosters
Along with HBOT, I help my patients prevent and relieve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease with supplements. Here are three you can use at home.
- L-carnitine. L-carnitine is an amino acid that enhances your thinking ability and memory. It’s also important for muscle control.
Your body converts L-carnitine into acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC). Studies show ALC prevents brain aging and slows the progress of brain diseases.4 It also improves cell receptors so neurons can take up more dopamine, the neurotransmitter critical for motor skills and mental focus. And it helps prevent the death of cells that produce dopamine.5
But ALC levels in your tissues drop with age. I suggest taking at least 500 mg of ALC every day on an empty stomach. Look for a formula with only L-carnitine and not D, L-carnitine. The D form is synthetic.
- Glutathione. The more exposure you have during your lifetime to toxins like pesticides and other industrial chemicals, the higher your risk of PD. But antioxidants significantly reduce your risk.
The best one for the job is your body’s most powerful natural antioxidant glutathione. But your levels of glutathione decline with age. And patients with Parkinson’s have dangerously low levels in the brain.
You can’t take oral glutathione. But clinical trials show N-acetyl cysteine directly boosts glutathione. Take from 1,800 mg to 2,400 mg a day.
- Lemon Balm. One of the most effective brain herbs I’ve found is lemon balm (Melissa officinalis). You might mistake it for a backyard weed. But studies show it improves memory, alertness and mental processing.
It works by increasing the activity of acetylcholine. When researchers gave young adults 300 mg of lemon balm it significantly improved their memory almost immediately. It also dramatically increased their math skills.6
You can make a tea with lemon balm leaves or inhale the essential oil. But for best results I recommend a supplement. Take 300 mg to 500 mg three times a day.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Borromei A. “OTI efficiency in decompensated‐complicated Parkinson’s Disease. In: Proceedings of the International Joint Meeting on Hyperbaric and Underwater Medicine.” Marroni A, Oriani G and Wattel F, eds. XII International Congress on Hyperbaric Medicine. Milano, Italy. 1996, pp 599‐604.
2. Hoggard M., et al. “Hyperbaric oxygen treatment on a Parkinson’s disease patient: a case study.” Proceedings of the 14th International Congress of Hyperbaric Medicine, San Francisco, CA, 2002.
3. Neretin Vla., et al. “Hyperbaric oxygenation in the complex treatment of Parkinson disease.” Zh Nevropatol Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova. 1989.
4. Arrigo A., Casale R, Buonocore M, Ciano C. “Effects of acetyl-L-carnitine on reaction times in patients with cerebrovascular insufficiency.” Int J Clin Pharmacol Res. 1990.
5. Bodis-Wollner, E. Chung, M.F. Ghilardi., et al. “Acetyl-levo-carnitine protects against MPTP-induced parkinsonism in primates.” J Neural Transm Park Dis Diment Sci 1991.
6. Scholey A et al. “Anti-stress effects of M. Officinalis-containing foods.” Nutrients. 2014.