Natural Medicine for Neurological Disorders
For patients diagnosed with neurological disorders, naturopathic medicine should be an integral part of therapy. The lack of effective conventional treatments for such conditions as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and ALS leaves many patients searching for alternatives. Although there usually isn't a pill or procedure to 'fix' most neurological conditions, patients can benefit from working with an alternative medical practitioner who will think outside the box
We ask the question: "What might your other doctors not be considering?"
New research in nutritional and environmental influences on neurological disorders is continually emerging. There is also a good deal of older research in neurology on beneficial therapies that have fallen out of use. These therapies are commonly overshadowed due to the excitement surrounding the development of an initially promising new drug, this is the forgotten research. The new and the forgotten therapies from the fields of nutritional and environmental science may not be familiar to your neurologist or other medical providers, but they shouldn't be excluded from your care.
Naturopathic doctors look to identify any causative factors in the development of neurological diseases. We ask the question, "Why is this process happening?"
There may be predisposing factors such as family history, genetics, recent infection, history of environmental exposures, and nutritional toxicities or deficiencies. A thorough evaluation includes a detailed history, physical exam and laboratory/diagnostic testing. Our bodies are composed of water, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. These substances, their excesses, deficiencies and imbalances, affect every aspect of our health. Evaluation and modification of these imbalances, intervening in the disordered process, forms the foundation of the naturopathic medical approach to treating people with neurological conditions.
Each patient is unique and may have a variety of predisposing factors that need to be addressed. Treatment is individualized and is based on both what is discovered in the assessment and what research indicates is effective. The patient is an active participant in this process.
Decrease Side Effects of Conventional Medications
Our goals are to increase the patient's awareness of less commonly known therapies, help identify specific therapies that are effective and indicated, decrease the side effects of conventional medications, and optimize overall health.
Parkinson's Disease (PD)
Patients with Parkinson's disease can benefit from the integrated approach to their condition offered by naturopathic physicians.
There are many predisposing factors implicated in the development and progression of Parkinson's disease (PD). Exposure to pesticides, living in a rural environment, drinking well water, and having a history of constipation all increase the risk of developing of the disease, whereas, caffeine and nicotine use appear to be protective. While we don't know exactly what triggers the loss of neurons, we do know how it happens. The brains of individuals with PD have high levels of destructive free radicals and insufficient anti-oxidants with which to quench them. This destruction of neurons is what causes Parkinson's disease and what is responsible for it's progression. Conventional medications are useful in alleviating the symptoms of PD in the short term, but do nothing to change its course. In short, they make life more manageable, but the disease continues to progress.
Our approach is to address the underlying cause of the disease. At the same time, we work to decrease the side effects of conventional medications and in this way our therapies complement the treatments offered by our patient's neurologists.
The goal of therapy is to stop the progression of the disease. Intervening at an early stage offers the best possibility for significantly impacting progression.
Drs. Mischley and Vespignani are naturopathic physicians who have made the treatment of individuals with Parkinson's Disease and other neurological disorders the core of their practice.
Neurological Conditions That Can Benefit From Alternative Medicine
- Alzheimer's Disease / Dementia
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig Disease)
- Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD)
- Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease
- Dizziness / Vertigo
- Epilepsy / Seizures
- Epstein-Barr Virus Infection
- Guillain-Barre Syndrome
- Huntington's Disease
- Memory Impairment
- Migraines / Headaches
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Neuromuscular Diseases
- Parkinson's Disease / Parkisonism
- Sleep Disorders
- Tic Disorders
- Transverse Myelitis
Did You Know?
Children with autism have low blood levels of the essential fatty acids from the omega-3 family (derived from fish and other sources).
Vancassel S, Plasma fatty acid levels in autistic children.
Did You Know?
Low Vitamin D intake is associated with an increased risk of developing MS.
Munger, K.L., et al., Vitamin D intake and incidence of multiple sclerosis.
Did You Know?
Levodopa (Sinemet), the most commonly prescribed medication for Parkinson's disease, can cause elevated levels of blood homocysteine, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Appropriate B Vitamin supplementation can moderate this effect.
Miller JW, et al. Effect of L-dopa on plasma homocysteine in PD patients: relationship to B-vitamin status.