Parkinsons disease and Sound Therapy
Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder caused by a degenerative condition of the central nervous system that often impairs the sufferer’s motor skills, speech, and other functions.
The primary symptoms are the results of decreased stimulation of the motor cortex by the basal ganglia, (an area of the brain associated with a variety of functions, including motor control and learning) Parkinson’s occurs when certain nerve cells (neurons) in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra die or become impaired. Normally, these cells produce a vital chemical known as dopamine. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter which gives us our inspiration and ability to “get up and go.”
Dopamine allows smooth, coordinated function of the body’s muscles and movement. When approximately 70% of the dopamine-producing cells are damaged, the symptoms of Parkinson disease will appear. PD is both chronic and progressive.
1. Tremor, (shaking, trembling)
2. Rigidity or stiffness of the muscles and inability to control movement
3. Slowness of movement, poor fine motor control
Some patients experience pain and discomfort in an arm or leg, anxiety and depression, slowness of thinking, memory problems, tiredness and disturbed sleep. Other possible symptoms are constipation, bladder problems (frequency and urgency.) Speech and swallowing problems can occur later in the illness. Secondary symptoms may include high level cognitive dysfunction and subtle language problems.
Brain stimulation and Parkinson’s
Research has clearly established that different types of brain stimulation can dramatically improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s. Studies have also found that music (specifically Mozart) can improve the transmission of dopamine and serotonin – the neurotransmitters associated with Parkinson’s. Combining music with a very specific type of high frequency stimulation, Sound Therapy is a promising and supportive treatment for those with Parkinson’s.
“I have Parkinson’s Disease. I lie down every day and put on my headphones and go into a very peaceful and restful sleep. I think Sound Therapy is beneficial to the stress that this malady brings on. Depression seems to be one of the worst side effects, and this is where Sound Therapy works wonders, making me feel re-enforced to carry on my daily tasks.”
Marjorie Noyes, White Rock, BC, Canada: