Who here reading this article knows someone who is suffering from either Parkinson’s disease (PD), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), or Dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s? I know someone – my grandmother. It has been difficult to watch the progression of her Parkinson’s over the past few years. I see her taking more and more medication, yet becoming increasingly impaired. She used to knit beautiful blankets for all the new children in the family, a token we all cherish. Unfortunately, she is unable to continue this tradition due to the resting tremors she experiences on a daily basis.
It is estimated that the incidence of Parkinson’s disease in particular has nearly doubled over the past 50 years, from 9.2 cases per 100,000 to 16.3 cases per 100,000 (1). Let’s take a closer look at these three seemingly different disorders.
PD is a slowly progressing neurodegenerative disorder, which means the brain is slowly breaking down. This manifests itself in various symptoms including gait imbalance (shuffling gait), resting tremors (imbalance within the basal ganglia), and multiple system atrophy (loss of balance and automatic systems of the body).
MS is also a slowly progressing neurodegenerative disorder. It differs from PD in various ways, mainly due to the fact that the body’s immune system attacks the brain (specifically the sheaths around the neurons called myelin). Symptoms of MS vary widely based on what parts of the brain are affected, but typically include muscle weakness, difficulty with coordination and balance, speech and vision issues, and chronic fatigue and pain.
Alzheimer’s disease is a slowly progressing neurodegenerative disorder which increases in severity with time. What occurs is that a protein called beta-amyloid builds up between neurons, making communication impossible. This buildup leads to deficits in memory and cognition.
Here we have three different disorders, all affecting the brain. Is it possible that they share a similar cause? New research is beginning to show that this may in fact be the case. What the research shows, at its core principle, is that there is a certain balance that must be maintained within the cranial vault (skull) to maintain normal brain function. Now, this balance is maintained by 2 factors: blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). It is the balance of these two fluids that maintains the health of our brains.
What is of interest is that in all three of these conditions, this fluid balance is abnormal. Furthermore, the cause of this abnormality is what is referred to as craniocervical junction dysfunction.
To quote, “The craniocervical junction (CCJ) is a potential choke point for craniospinal hydrodynamics and may play a causative or contributory role in the pathogenesis and progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, MS, and ALS, as well as many other neurological conditions.” The author continues that the CCJ “may lead to new approaches for the prevention and treatment of the above neurodegenerative and neurological conditions.”(2) This research was published in 2015 in an international neurological journal.
What is truly remarkable is that research has already been completed which helps explain how working with the CCJ can help those suffering from PD and MS.(3) This research found that 90% of individuals suffering from PD and MS found relief from their symptoms within the initial six months of care. This study was conducted and published right here in Boulder, Colorado.
This truly is a fascinating time. As our understanding grows regarding how the brain is impacted by changes in the upper cervical spine, we are able to offer evidence that abnormalities in the upper neck appear to lead to abnormal brain function. Fortunately, there are Doctors who specialize in this region of the body, called Upper Cervical Specific doctors. To find your nearest doctor please visit www.thespecific.com. This is an exciting time to offer hope to those that have become hopeless, and most importantly that you do NOT have to learn to LIVE WITH IT, whatever IT is for you. To continue the conversation, like us on Facebook here.
To schedule a consultation to see if you qualify for this procedure, call 303.442.5911.
Remember, your current state of health does NOT dictate your future.
The Specific Chiropractic Center Boulder