Parkinson’s Disease

Dr. Adrienne Sprouse

Dr. Adrienne Sprouse

Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative brain disorder caused by a decrease in dopamine produced in the area of the brain called the substantia nigra.  Symptoms can include abnormal movement activity, cognitive abnormalities, and even psychotic symptoms like visual hallucinations.

Primary Parkinsonism

These unavoidable causes include genetic predisposition and certain illnesses such as Wilson disease, Huntington’s disease, normal pressure hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, etc.

Secondary Parkinsonism

Factors external to the patient, and sometimes avoidable, can also cause Parkinsons Disease.  Medications like valproic acid that is used to treat seizures and some psychiatric conditions, lithium used for bipolar disorder, some antidepressants including the serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, and medications to prevent nausea such as compazine and metoclopramide can all cause Parkinsons.

Parkinsons can occur after repeated head trauma, after infections with syphilis, or other infections involving the brain, and in some metabolic conditions including low parathyroid or non-Wilson liver degeneration.

Certain environmental chemicals also increase the risk of getting Parkinsons.  These include manganese used by metal workers, cyanide found in cigarette smoke and some products used to fumigate buildings, methanol which is used as an antifreeze, carbon monoxide which leaks from a wide variety of appliances like kerosene, gas, and wood-burning heaters, gas stoves, gas fireplaces, and pesticides and weed killers.

Check to determine if you have been exposed to any of the medications or environmental toxins that cause secondary Parkinsons.  The substitution of other medications and the avoidance of toxic chemicals known to cause Parkinsons will reduce your risk of getting the disease from these causes.

You may also view my Your Environmental Minute segment on Parkinson’s Disease on Youtube.

On another note:

“Passion and Poison – The Vindication of Vincent Van Gogh” is a documentary film project that I am currently involved with as Head Researcher.  Through re-enactments and sound medical science, I have discovered the environmental reasons for Van Gogh’s erratic behavior. He wasn’t crazy, and I can prove it. For more information go to our website

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