so my socks are showing and my shoes fall off and I can’t
get the food up to my mouth when I want to.
~ Michael J. Fox
Despite the doctor’s prediction, Michael would continue acting in movies and television, earning acting accolades, an Emmy and Golden Globe and many nominations for those awards until 2018, when he was sidelined with back surgery unrelated to Parkinson’s. In 2000, Michael launched The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, which the New York Times has called “the most credible voice on Parkinson’s research in the world.” Today the world’s largest non-profit funder of Parkinson’s drug development, the Foundation has galvanized the search for a cure for Parkinson’s disease (PD). Fox is widely admired for his tireless work as a patient advocate.
In the U.S., over one million Americans suffer from Parkinson’s disease (approximately 10 million worldwide). Every year, 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with it. The frequency and severity of this disease increases with age, although an estimated four percent of people with Parkinson’s disease are diagnosed before the age of 50. In general, men are diagnosed more frequently than women.
Parkinson’s disease is caused by the degeneration of a small part of the brain called the substantia nigra. As brain cells in the substantia nigra die, the brain becomes deprived of the chemical dopamine.
Dopamine enables brain cells that are involved in movement control to communicate, so reduced levels of dopamine lead to symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. According to the National Parkinson Foundation, 60-80% of dopamine-producing cells are lost even before the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appear.
The four primary symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are:
- Tremor -involuntary, rhythmic shaking of a limb, head, or entire body. This is the most recognized symptom of Parkinson’s disease. Tremor often starts in one finger that eventually spreads to the whole arm. The tremor may affect only one part or side of the body, especially in the early stages of the disease. Not everyone with Parkinson’s disease has tremor.
- Rigidity -stiffness or inflexibility of the limbs or joints. This often begins in the legs and neck. Rigidity affects most people. The muscles become tense and contracted, and some people may feel pain or stiffness.
- Bradykinesia -slowness of movement or absence of movement. This is one of the classic symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Over time, a person may develop a stooped posture and a slow, shuffling walk. They eventually may lose their ability to start and keep moving. After several years, they may experience akinesia, or “freezing,” and not be able to move at all.
- Postural instability – impaired balance and coordination. A person with postural instability may have a stooped position, with head bowed and shoulders drooped. They may develop a forward or backward lean, which may lead to falls that cause injuries.
A person with Parkinson’s disease may also experience other symptoms. These include:
- Depression and anxiety
- Loss of the sense of smell
- Sleep problems
- Memory loss
Bio-Touch has been shown to ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. While not a substitute for medical care, Bio-Touch is an effective complement to mainstream medical protocols. And there are no negative side effects to worry about. Everyone, even children, can learn Bio-Touch!