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Natural Awakenings Sarasota / Manatee / Charlotte

New hope in the Treatment of Parkinson’s

Nov 01, 2014 12:17AM ● By SUZI HARKOLA

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative brain disorder that progresses slowly in most people. Normally, there are cells (neurons) in the human brain that produce dopamine. These neurons concentrate in a particular area of the brain, called the substantia nigra. Dopamine is a chemical that relays messages between the substantia nigra and other parts of the brain to control bodily movements. Dopamine helps humans to have smooth coordinated muscle movements. When approximately 60 percent to 80 percent of the dopamine-producing cells are damaged, and do not produce enough dopamine, the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appear. This process of impairment of brain cells is called neurodegeneration.

            The current theory (so-called Braak’s hypothesis) is that the earliest signs of Parkinson’s are found in the enteric nervous system, the medulla and, in particular, the olfactory bulb, which controls the sense of smell. Under this theory, Parkinson’s only progresses to the substantia nigra and cortex over the years. This theory is increasingly borne out by evidence that non-motor symptoms, such as a loss of sense of smell, hyposmia, sleep disorders and constipation may precede the motor features of the disease by several years. For this reason, researchers are increasingly focused on these “non-motor” symptoms to both detect PD as early as possible and to look for ways to stop its progression.


Early Stage Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

▪     Change in facial expression (staring, lack of blinking)

▪     Failure to swing one arm when walking

▪     Flexion (stooped) posture

▪     “Frozen” painful shoulder

▪     Limping or dragging of one leg

▪     Numbness, tingling, achiness or discomfort of the neck or limbs

▪     Softness of the voice

▪     Subjective sensation of internal trembling

▪     Tremors when limb is relaxed (about 25 percent of patients, however, will not experience tremors)

▪     Symptoms on one side of the body

▪     Loss of sense of smell

▪     Constipation

▪     Depression

▪     Anxiety


Dr. John Lieurance, a Sarasota Chiropractor with a focus on holistic neurological care, has been working with a combination of modalities that seem to be giving relief to many, who suffer from Parkinson’s. At the core of his work is a treatment called functional neurology, which is non-drug, non-surgical care for those with neurologically based health problems. Dr. Lieurance uses a variety of methods to activate the brain’s dopamine producing cells in the brain to begin to produce more dopamine. “Neuron theory 101 says that neurons need fuel and activation to be healthy. That means oxygen and glucose for fuel and activation is stimulation,” Lieurance says. By using neuroplasticity, functional neurology can stabilize these neurons in the substantia nigra.

Lieurance also uses PEMF, which he states helps with something called autophagy in the brain, which is clinically shown to be poor in Parkinson’s. Another aspect of his treatment is Glutathione, which is an antioxidant that the brain needs to maintain healthy nerves. Glutathione has also been shown to be very low in people suffering from Parkinson’s.

Lieurance also is an advocate for Parkinson’s sufferers to be screened for Lyme disease and chronic viral infections. “There’s a lot that goes into our treatment here for Parkinson’s patients because it’s a complicated condition.”


For more information, visit or If you have Parkinson’s and would like to see Dr. Lieurance, call 941-330-8553.

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