advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Can Sound Slow Parkinson's?

I've heard you mention how certain types of sound overtones can apparently slow the progression of Parkinson's disease. What kind of music activates the body's healing system? What else do you recommend to stop or slow the progression of the disease?

A
Answer (Published 10/23/2007)

Parkinson's disease is a degenerative neurological process affecting the "substantia nigra," a small area of cells in the mid-brain. Loss of these cells results in a reduction in levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine and upsets the balance between dopamine and another brain chemical, acetylcholine. The most familiar signs of the disease are resting tremor (trembling) of the, arms, legs, jaw, and face that decreases with movement; a generalized slowness of movement; stiffness in the limbs and trunk; rigid facial expressions; and problems with balance or gait. Mental function can deteriorate in advanced cases, and depression is common.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor - If you are interested in supplementing your diet but don't know where to start, take Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor. It is free, and provides a personalized vitamin & supplement recommendation based on your health history. Visit today!

Several small studies have suggested that music therapy can slow the progression of Parkinson's. One of the best known clinical trials, from Italy, found that music therapy positively affected movement, emotions and quality of life among a small group of patients. Other research has suggested that some types of music can stimulate production of dopamine and serotonin, another neurochemical involved in Parkinson's. There's not one type of music that helps everyone. Music therapists report that with each patient, they must try various rhythms or music styles to see which ones help with walking, balance, and movement. However, sometimes slow, rhythmic music can help promote relaxation and sleep among patients who would otherwise be wakened by involuntary movements.

Consider working with a music therapist to investigate whether music benefits you (to learn more, visit the American Music Therapy Association at www.musictherapy.org). On your own, however, you can listen to various types of music to see what helps you move, prompts you to sing (and thus strengthens your voice) or helps you relax and sleep.

While there's no cure for Parkinson's, a variety of drugs including L-Dopa (Levodopa) and Sinemet (Carbidopa) can slow its progression and help manage symptoms. L-Dopa is converted to dopamine in the brain. Sinemet prevents L-Dopa from being broken down before it reaches the brain.

Findings from a small study (with only 80 participants) at the University of California, San Diego, suggest that taking 1,200 mg per day of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) can also help slow progression of the disease in its early stages, although these are very high doses and quality supplements can be quite expensive. Before we can say for sure that CoQ10 helps, the results must be confirmed in larger studies.

For other tips on managing Parkinson's Disease, see the Web site of the Parkinson's Action Network at www.parkinsonsaction.org.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here