A study published on May 15, 2014, in the Journal Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research documented the improvement under chiropractic care of a series of patients suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. The authors note that Parkinson’s disease, also known as paralysis agitans, is a progressive disorder that affects the central nervous system, characterized by tremor and impaired co-ordination.
The study begins by showing how common Parkinson’s disease is. “More than 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD), which is more than are afflicted with multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy combined. It is estimated that there are 100,000 new cases of PD reported annually in the United States.”
In this study, three Parkinson’s patients presented themselves for chiropractic care. A rating of the severity of the Parkinson’s was given to each patient to use as comparison with their conditions after chiropractic care was given. The rating system is known as the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). With this system, many factors are considered and scored between 0 and 4. The numbers are then added so the lower the aggregate score, the better the patient is doing.
In this case series, the three patients were all males between the ages of 63 and 65. Each man had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s between 3 and 5 years prior to seeking chiropractic. Each patient had a chiropractic examination which included orthopedic and neurological testing, thermal scans, and spinal x-rays. Subluxations were determined to be present in each of the men and a specific course of adjusting was begun for each case based upon their individual findings.
The results showed that all three men improved in many ways from their chiropractic care. The first patient went from a UPDRS score before care of 25, down to 15 after 2 months of chiropractic adjustments. The second man improved from a UPDRS score of 27, down to 15 after 5 months. and the third patient’s UPDRS score went from 39 to 15 after 36 months of chiropractic care. These changes represent significant improvement in many areas resulting in a significant enhancement in their quality of life.
In their conclusion, the authors summed up the positive results by stating, “Upper Cervical Specific chiropractic care utilized on three patients with a diagnosis of PD, rated using the UPDRS test at 2 months, 6 months and 36 months. Results associated with PD included better overall health, improved ambulation, a reduced UPDRS score and a reduction in upper cervical subluxations were all obtained.”