Man with severe Parkinson’s tries marijuana for first time

This man suffers with a severe case of Parkinson’s disease. Watch what happens when he first takes cannabis.

First Showed On Unilad Facebook Page Via Ride With Larry


Source: Unilad (




How Do You Die of Parkinson’s Disease?


Parkinson’s disease, a chronic, progressive movement disorder characterized by tremors and stiffness, is not considered a fatal disease in and of itself, though it may reduce life expectancy by a modest amount. It is often said that people die “with” Parkinson’s rather than “of” the disease.

“People who are healthy when diagnosed will generally live about as long as other people in their age cohort,” said James Beck, the vice president for scientific affairs at the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, which is involved in research, education and advocacy. “It is not a death sentence.”

Since Parkinson’s generally affects people later in life — patients are typically given a diagnosis in their 60s — patients often die of unrelated age-related diseases like cancer, heart disease or stroke. But the most common cause of death in those with Parkinson’s is pneumonia, because the disease impairs patients’ ability to swallow, putting them at risk for inhaling or aspirating food or liquids into their lungs, leading to aspiration pneumonia.

Since Parkinson’s also impairs mobility and balance, those with the disease are also at high risk for falls and accidents, which can trigger a cascade of medical problems, including being bedridden and developing pneumonia, Dr. Beck said. In its advanced stages, the disease can make walking and talking difficult and cause other problems not related to movement, including cognitive impairment. Patients often cannot care for themselves and need assistance carrying out simple activities of daily living.

One long-term study followed a group of 142 Parkinson’s patients after they were given their diagnosis; their mean age at diagnosis was around 70. The researchers found that 23 percent were generally doing well 10 years later, meaning they could maintain their balance and did not have dementia. But over half of the patients in the original group had died, with the most common cause related to Parkinson’s being pneumonia. The probability of losing one’s ability to maintain balance after 10 years was calculated to be 68 percent, and the probability of developing dementia was around 46 percent.


Patient with Parkinson’s goes from struggling to walk to leading dance in viral clip

Larry goes from struggling to walk with assistance to leading his physical therapist in dance.

A physical therapist who read about the health benefits of music decided to incorporate it into a session with one of her patients who has Parkinson’s disease, and posted the remarkable results online. Anicea Gunlock’s video features her patient, identified only as Larry, who goes from struggling to walk with the aid of a walker to leading Gunlock in a dance by the end of the clip.

“I don’t know who was more shocked at the immediate results!” Gunlock posted with the Jan. 5 video, which has amassed 8.4 million views.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease vary from person to person but can include tremor, slowness of movements, limb stiffness and difficulties with gait and balance, according to the National Parkinson Foundation. Severity of the disease can be broken down into five stages, and there is no known cure.

Gunlock told Fox 13 that Larry’s wife followed them around the house crying tears of joy over his progress.

“She said she had been praying for a miracle for her husband and truly felt like this was an answered prayer,” Gunlock told Fox 13.

The video captures nearly four minutes of Larry’s progress, but Gunlock said he continued to walk for 15 minutes more, even singing along to the country song that she had chosen.

“I have never seen results of this magnitude this quickly before and by the end of the session we were all in tears but they were definitely happy tears,” she said.



GyroGlove’ Helps Ease Hand Tremors In Patients With Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement; its most recognizable symptom is trembling hands. These tremors can make everyday activities like holding a glass of water or writing incredibly difficult. And while there are some potential treatment methods on the horizon, a new device might soon help Parkinson’s patients lead a more normal life.

The GyroGlove, developed by London medical student Faii Ong, has the potential to help Parkinson’s patients manage their tremors. Ong first had the idea to create the glove as a medical student when, while treating a 103-year-old Parkinson’s patient, he found it was difficult for her to eat soup. With nothing to ease her tremors, he built the GyroGlove, which uses the physics of mechanical gyroscopes to reduce trembling.

According to notes Ong provided to Medical Daily, the gyroscopes “are basically tops, or spinning discs. Like tops that try to stay upright, gyroscopes similarly seek to remain in the same position by conserving angular momentum. Thus, these gyroscopes instantaneously and proportionally resist hand movement.” When the gyroscopes are activated, Ong said, they make the trembling hand feel like it’s moving through syrup — the tremors are smoothed and damped, giving the hand full control.

The team at GyroGear tested out the glove on a wooden hand attached to a motorized rig that made it shake similarly to the way a Parkinson’s patient’s hand would tremble. Their first tests showed a nearly 90 percent reduction in the tremors caused by their rig. Further testing is now being conducted on patients with Parkinson’s and essential tremors — a nervous system disorder that causes rhythmic shaking in the hands.

The glove will help Parkinson’s patients lead more normal lives, according to Dr. Alison H. McGregor, a professor of musculoskeletal biodynamics and director of educational strategy and quality at the Imperial College London. “Being able to control or manage the tremor associated with Parkinson’s can make a range of daily tasks we all take for granted achievable from writing a letter [and] putting a key in the door to dressing and feeding yourself,” she told Medical Daily in an email.

Seeing it as a useful accessory for people with Parkinson’s, Sarah Webb, founder of the South London Younger Parkinson’s Network, praised its ease of use and the fact there are no side effects. “We can see results immediately,” she told Medical Daily. With an estimated 10 million people worldwide affected by Parkinson’s and another 200 million people suffering from essential tremors, ease of use and portability is essential to getting people’s lives back on track.

Still in its prototype stage, the glove will need to cater to more patients than just those with persistent tremors, Helen Matthews, COO of The Cure Parkinson’s Trust, told Medical Daily. “ Every person’s Parkinson’s is different, so what suits one person may not suit another,” she said. “One person may have persistent tremor, another sporadic events of tremor, so understanding the needs of each person and each potential customer is key in a project of this kind. ”

With more research, the glove may one day help patients with all types of needs. Ong and the rest of the GyroGear team hope to launch a crowdfunding campaign later this year, with a final product launch sometime in 2017.


Former Horse Jumper With Parkinson’s Disease Gets Her Wish to Ride One More Time

An 87-year-old former horse jumper with Parkinson’s disease got her wish to ride again.

Nelly Jacobs, of the Netherlands, was diagnosed with the debilitating disease more than three decades ago, forcing her to give up riding. Now she spends most her days in a wheelchair in hernursing home.

But, thanks to Hidden Desires, a project of two charities called The Care Group and the Green Cross, Jacobs was granted her wish to ride a horse again at a nearby riding school.

“Horses have always been important to her; ever since she was a child, until her Parkinson’s got the best of her,” Jacobs’ son Jan said in a now viral Facebook video.

He added, “Her uncle Fons put her on a horse when she was 9. Later on, she rode several horses and she even made a decent jumper.”

Jan accompanied his mother to the riding school where she was able to meet several horses in a stable and even smell the hay, an aroma she called “delicious,” before riding.

“This is a very emotional day for her,” her son said. “So she won’t be able to speak, but I can tell she loves every second of seeing the horses, smelling the stables,” her son said. “These things matter to her because she must have missed it at the nursing home.”

After her meet-and-greet, Jacobs was brought to an enclosed arena. She was then gently lifted onto the backs of two horses, who rode side-by-side.

Jacobs called the experience “wonderful” as a broad smile appeared on her face.

“Lots of memories are coming back to her,” her son said in the video. “Her whole life revolved around horses, so through this experience, she’s able to feel the joy again and reminisce about things from her past.”



12 Famous People With Parkinson’s Disease

  • 1 / 13   Raising Awareness of Parkinson’s Disease

    Celebrities by the dozens glide down the red carpet for Celebrity Fight Night each year, the glittering Parkinson’s disease fundraiser for which Muhammad Ali has been the featured guest for the past 18 years. Ali is one of many celebrities living with Parkinson’s disease who are raising the profile of this little-understood neurological condition.

    The list of well-known people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease includes a former U.S. attorney general, a boxing trainer, and many stars of the stage and screen. With their fame, people like actor Michael J. Fox have worked to bring more Parkinson’s disease awareness into their professions, which sometimes value physical perfection over health concerns. With about 1 million Americans living with Parkinson’s disease — and an estimated 7 to 10 million people living with it worldwide — patient advocacy helps promote research into this condition that causes, among other problems, balance and coordination difficulties.

  • 2 / 13   Janet Reno: Public Service With Parkinson’s

    The first woman to serve as U.S. attorney general, from 1993 to 2001, Janet Reno was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1995 just two years after she was nominated to the cabinet position. She was 55 at the time. “Well, my hand was shaking this summer and I thought it would go away. I thought it was maybe you all picking on me. But it didn’t go away, and so I went and had it checked out,” Reno said in a press conference at the time.

    She took medication to bring her symptoms under control. Her Parkinson’s has advanced since then, but she was able to guest star as herself in a 2013 episode of The Simpsons, where she presided in a trial in which Bart Simpson was the defendant. While Reno is a respected and admired famous person with Parkinson’s disease, she mostly shuns the spotlight.

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    3 / 13   Michael J. Fox: Parkinson’s Champion for a Cure

    Michael J. Fox is among the most well known people with Parkinson’s disease. Many remember him as the fresh-faced young star of the 1980s TV comedy hit Family Ties and the popular Back to the Future movies. Though most people with Parkinson’s are diagnosed between ages 40 and 60, Fox was diagnosed at age 30.

    He shared his young-onset Parkinson’s disease diagnosis with the world in 1998, and two years later founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Fox is committed to helping the foundation build Parkinson’s disease awareness and raise funds for research into prevention, treatment, and a cure. He’s still a working actor; some more recent roles have included characters with Parkinson’s in the TV shows The Good Wife and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

    “As long as I play a guy with Parkinson’s, I can do anything,” he said in a 2013 AARP interview.

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    4 / 13   Muhammad Ali: Fighting for Parkinson’s Awareness

    The beloved boxer Muhammad Ali coped with shaking hands and mobility challenges well before he retired from the sport in 1981. In 1984, doctors diagnosed Ali with Parkinson’s disease. Ali, philanthropist Jimmy Walker, and Abraham Lieberman, MD, established the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center for movement disorders, a National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. It serves as a resource center for Parkinson’s and other movement disorders, including Huntington’s disease and essential tremor, for both patients and their families.

    The center works with patients and provides education and outreach opportunities to raise Parkinson’s awareness. Ali’s star power draws a lot of big names to the annual gala fundraising event Celebrity Fight Night, where he’s the featured guest. Awareness-building runs in the family: His daughter Rasheda Ali wrote a book for children about Parkinson’s disease, I’ll Hold Your Hand So You Won’t Fall: A Child’s Guide to Parkinson’s Disease.

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    5 / 13   Linda Ronstadt: Parkinson’s Takes Her Voice, But Not Her Spirit

    Known for her rich soprano vocals that fused country music with rock ‘n’ roll as the lead singer of 1960s band the Stone Poneys, Linda Ronstadt opened up about her Parkinson’s disease diagnosis to AARP The Magazine. After getting two very bad tick bites in the 1980s, Ronstadt says her health never fully recovered — but she didn’t visit a neurologist until she was unable to sing.

    “I didn’t know why I couldn’t sing — all I knew was that it was muscular, or mechanical. Then, when I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I was finally given the reason. I now understand that no one can sing with Parkinson’s disease. No matter how hard you try. And in my case, I can’t sing a note,” she told AARP.

    Ronstadt was initially shocked by her diagnosis, but now believes that she’d been living with Parkinson’s symptoms for years. These days, she’s learning as much about her neurological condition as possible.

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    6 / 13   Bob Hoskins: Retirement With Parkinson’s

    The British actor best known for his award-winning turn in the 1982 film The Long Good Friday and for his voiceover in 1988’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Bob Hoskins announced that having Parkinson’s disease forced him into retirement in 2012. He was quite private about the details of his diagnosis, but in a 2012 interview with Saga Magazine, he said, “I’m trying to retire. I’m not doing very well at it, though.” When he did retire, he announced that he would be focusing on his own health and a healthier lifestyle after leaving the acting profession. Hoskins passed away of pneumonia in 2014, at age 71.

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    7 / 13   Brian Grant: Staying Positive With Parkinson’s

    Brian Grant spent 12 seasons as a National Basketball Association (NBA) professional, playing for the Sacramento Kings, the Portland Trail Blazers, the Miami Heat, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Phoenix Suns. As an NBA player, he was known for his positive team commitment as well as his work with disadvantaged children. He was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease in 2008 at age 36, after retiring from the sport. He founded the Brian Grant Foundation, which is dedicated to raising awareness andinspiring those living with Parkinson’s disease to include exercise as medicine.

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    8 / 13   Freddie Roach: Boxing Trainer With Parkinson’s

    Frederick “Freddie” Roach is a boxing trainer and former professional boxer. Bryant Gumbel included his story in the HBO series Real Sports, detailing Roach’s efforts tocontrol his Parkinson’s disease with medication and continued work as a trainer. Roach, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2010, trains world-famous boxers at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California, which he owns. His client list has included the likes of Amir Khan, Manny Pacquiao, Mark Wahlberg, and Georges St. Pierre.

    But having Parkinson’s hasn’t dimmed his commitment to boxing, even as it’s caused his speech to slur and his left arm to shake. “I’m in the gym every day, it’s part of life. Instead of taking a vacation, I like what I do. My vacations are right here,” Roach said in a 2015 CBS interview.


    9 / 13   Billy Connolly: Humor With Parkinson’s

    Scottish actor and comedian Billy Connolly continued on with his career after his Parkinson’s diagnosis in 2013 at age 70. Well known for his movie roles, including as Uncle Monty in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, he is currently hosting the 2016 TV travel story Billy Connolly’s Tracks Across America. He first found out he had Parkinson’s when a fan noticed his symptoms and talked to him about showing the early signs of tremor.

    “Aye, it just happened. I think they’re very closely related, deep despair and laughing. And I wasn’t in any pain,” he said of his diagnosis in a 2014 interview reported in The Guardian.

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    10 / 13   Michael Richard Clifford: Parkinson’s in Space

    Michael Richard “Rich” Clifford began his career as a NASA astronaut in 1990. He’s since made three space flights, accumulating 665 hours orbiting the globe. Though diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1994, he continued to fly. Clifford was 42 and in apparent good health when he discovered his Parkinson’s disease, signaled at first by difficulty moving his right arm and hand correctly. In 2012, the American Academy of Neurology gave him the Public Leadership in Neurology Award for increasing awareness of Parkinson’s disease and for encouraging people living with Parkinson’s to continue to pursue their dreams.

    “Everyone with PD handles it differently,” says Rich in an interview with the Michael J. Fox Foundation. “Don’t let it get in the way of living. Life is too good. Remember, keep going — the sky’s the limit.”

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    11 / 13   Maurice White: Performing With Parkinson’s

    One of the founding members of the band Earth, Wind & Fire, Maurice White noted the first symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in the 1980s while the band’s popularity was going strong. Although he was diagnosed in 1992 at age 50, he kept quiet about his disease for eight years. In a 2000 interview with Rolling Stone, he discussed his diagnosis, saying, “I traveled with the band for five years with Parkinson’s. I was treating it with medication then, and I still have it under control. It’s not taking anything away from me.”

    White was one of the most well-known musicians with Parkinson’s disease. He died in 2016 at age 74. \


12 / 13   James Levine Continues Leading the Metropolitan Opera

  • James Levine, music director and conductor of New York City’s Metropolitan Opera, has Parkinson’s disease and, at age 72, continues to work while keeping his symptoms under control with medication, reports The New York Times. Levine has conducted thousands of opera performances at the Met since 1971 and is also an accomplished pianist. He led the PBS television series The Metropolitan Opera Presents, bringing opera to more fans through the popular show. After a two-year recovery from a crippling spinal injury in 2011, Levine returned to conducting the Metropolitan Opera in 2013 — wielding his baton from a motorized wheelchair. “I was just grateful beyond words. It was clear that I could still do this work and that the orchestra and the company and the audience wanted me to do it,” Levine said in a 2015 interview with CBS.
  • ]Ben Petrick dreamed of a stellar baseball career as a catcher with the Colorado Rockies. He played in 240 major-league games, the majority of which came after Parkinson’s disease struck him at age 22 in 2000. He retired from baseball in 2004.
  • He’s since authored Forty Thousand to One, a book whose title in part references the 40,000 Americans diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease every year. The book also recounts his experiences in major league baseball and coping with Parkinson’s disease. According to an ESPN interview, Petrick’s father was also diagnosed with the condition but maintains a positive attitude, saying that although he has Parkinson’s, Parkinson’s doesn’t have him.

Doctor Says Clinton Collapse Characteristic Of Parkinson’s – Not Just Pneumonia

clinton doctor parkinsons

CNN is reporting, in what we would expect to be a public relations measure on behalf of their candidate, that Hillary Clinton has pneumonia and that was the cause of her collapsing as she left the 9/11 ceremony early. According to them it was diagnosed on Friday and she’s taking antibiotics.

Clinton emerged from her daughter’s New York City apartment a short while after she went to the saying she felt great. To reassure the American people, Clinton said, “It’s a beautiful day in New York.” Ever the liar caught in a contradiction, Clinton had previously claimed to have been overheated at the morning event. Now, later in the day, when things have warmed up, the weather has turned beautiful.

Her doctor, Dr. Lisa Bardack issued a cover story saying that Clinton was diagnosed on Friday as having pneumonia, and “was put on antibiotics, and advised to rest and modify her schedule.” After attending to Clinton at her Chappaqua home on Sunday, Bardack said, “While at this morning’s event, she became overheated and dehydrated. I have just examined her and she is now re-hydrated and recovering nicely.”

This doctor is an unethical liar. She first stated that Clinton was fit and in excellent physical condition for the office of president, citing only allergies as an ongoing condition. Clearly she has a chronic condition, likely Parkinson’s Disease, and the doctor has committed malpractice in lying on the certification letter.

She’s also lying now. Healthy women don’t pass out like Clinton did, even from a mild case of pneumonia. They don’t have coughing fits and they don’t bob their head uncontrollably and have other involuntary body movements.

It may be true that she has pneumonia. Dr. Ted Noel notes that Aspiration Pneumonia is the leading cause of death for Parkinson’s Disease patients. Aspiration Pneumonia is a lung infection that develops after you aspirate (inhale) food, liquid, or vomit into your lungs.  Far from excluding a more serious condition, the admission only serves to reinforce his suspicions, which are detailed in the video below.

Mrs. Clinton needs to do what is for her unimaginable, be honest. She needs to tell the truth about her health. She has no choice. It is inevitable. She can’t hide any longer. As her fellow mobsters of the past would say, the jig is up.


High-technology alternative to brain surgery safe, effective for treatment of essential tremor


A study published today in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine offers the most in-depth assessment yet of the safety and effectiveness of a high-tech alternative to brain surgery to treat the uncontrollable shaking caused by the most common movement disorder. And the news is very good.

The paper outlines the results of an international clinical trial, led by Jeff Elias, MD, of theUniversity of Virginia Health System, that evaluated the scalpel-free approach calledfocused ultrasound for the treatment of essential tremor (ET), a condition that afflicts an estimated 10 million Americans. Not only did the researchers determine that the procedure was safe and effective, they found that it offered a lasting benefit, reducing shaking for trial participants throughout the 12-month study period.

“This study represents a major advance for neurosurgery, treatment of brain disease and specifically the treatment of ET,” Elias said. “For the first time in a randomized controlled trial, we have shown that ultrasound can be precisely delivered through the intact human skull to treat a difficult neurological disease.”

Pioneering Tremor Trial

The multi-site clinical trial included 76 participants with moderate to severe essential tremor, a condition that often robs people of their ability to write, feed themselves and carry out their normal daily activities. The trial participants all had tried existing medications, without success. The mean age was 71, and most had suffered with their tremor for many years.

Seventy-five percent of participants received the experimental treatment using focused ultrasound guided by magnetic resonance imaging. The remaining 25 percent underwent a sham procedure, to act as the control group. (They would later be given the opportunity to undergo the real procedure.)

Participants who received the treatment showed dramatic improvement, with the beneficial effects continuing throughout the study period. The researchers employed a 32-point scale to assess tremor severity, and they found that mean tremor scores improved by 47 percent at three months and 40 percent at 12 months. Participants reported major improvements in their quality of life. People who couldn’t feed themselves soup or cereal could again do so.

Participants who received the sham procedure, on the other hand, showed no significant improvements.

“The degree of tremor control was very good overall in the study, but the most important aspects were the significant gains in disabilities and quality of life – that’s what patients really care about,” Elias said.

The most commonly reported side effects were gait disturbances and numbness in the hand or face; in most instances, these side effects were temporary but some were permanent.


FDA Approved

Based on the clinical trial led by Elias, the federal Food and Drug Administration has approved the focused ultrasound device,

manufactured by InSightec Inc., for the treatment of essential tremor. The device focuses sound waves inside the brain to create heat, much like a magnifying glass focuses light. That heat can then be used to interrupt the troublesome brain connections responsible for the tremor. Elias can actually watch as patients’ tremor decreases, and the real-time imaging allows him to zone in on exactly the right spot before making any permanent changes to the brain.

The FDA approval means UVA can make the procedure available to eligible patients. UVA, however, is still working out the necessary logistics; it’s not yet clear when Elias will begin treating patients. Because the approach is so new, insurance plans will not yet cover the procedure, though that may change in the coming months. The cost at UVA has not yet been determined.

People interested in the procedure can learn more at The site includes a list of frequently asked questions and will be updated as UVA prepares to make the treatment available.

The procedure is not for everyone with essential tremor. It can’t be used in patients who cannot undergo MRI imaging, including those with implanted metallic devices such as a pacemaker. It is also not available for pregnant women, people with heart conditions or very high blood pressure, patients with kidney disease or clotting disorders, patients on blood thinners, patients with a history of strokes or brain tumors and people with substance abuse issues. There are other exclusions as well. Doctors at UVA will evaluate potential patients to determine their eligibility and then recommend the best course of treatment.

Groundbreaking Research

UVA is a world leader in focused ultrasound research. Elias and his colleagues are testing the capability of focused ultrasound to treat Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, brain tumors and benign breast tumors.

Source: University of Virginia Health System

First In Israel: Study Reveals Link Between Shaking due to Parkinson’s Disease and Creativity

(Photo: Breaking Israel News)

Doctors have long noticed that patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease seem to have an enhanced creative streak, but these observations have never been studied until now. A new Israeli study which set out to examine Parkinson’s patients’ ability to perform creativity tasks has been published in The Annals of Neurology.

Prof. Rivka Inzelberg of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Sagol Neuroscience Center at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, authored the study, along with Achinoam Faust-Socher MD, Yoed N. Kenett MA, Oren S. Cohen MD, and Sharon Hassin-Baer MD. In a previous study, Inzelberg noted how creative Parkinson’s patients could be. She decided to seek out a measurable scientific difference for the artistry demonstrated by this group.

“It began with my observation that Parkinson’s patients have a special interest in art and have creative hobbies incompatible with their physical limitations,” says Inzelberg. ” In my present research, we conducted the first comprehensive study to measure the creative thinking of Parkinson’s patients. This was not a simple task, because how does one measure, or quantify, creativity? We had to think creatively ourselves.”

Using a variety of tests, Inzelberg determined that Parkinson’s patients are indeed demonstrably more creative than their neurologically normative peers. The difference seems to stem from the dopamine-stimulating medication that many Parkinson’s patients take to quell tremors. This finding is unsurprising, as there is a long established link between artistry and dopamine.

“We know that Van Gogh had psychotic spells, in which high levels of dopamine are secreted in the brain, and he was able to paint masterpieces during these spells — so we know there is a strong relationship between creativity and dopamine,” Inzelberg explains.

In the study, Inzelberg found higher levels of medication translated to higher levels of creativity. However, the drug may not be the only influencing factor. “There is an urge to do something artistic, but not all people will feel this,” she says. “It could be that the [Parkinson’s drugs] induce a lack of inhibition or change of self-perception –– factors that could lead people to create more art.”

Prof. Rivka Inzelberg at her clinic. (Photo: Nir-Keidar)
Prof. Rivka Inzelberg at her clinic. (Photo: Nir-Keidar)

The study took 27 Parkinson’s patients and compared them to 27 neurologically healthy individuals of similar age and level of education. Each participant was subjected to a variety of tests, including the Verbal Fluency exam, the Remote Association Test, the Novel Metaphor Test and the Tel Aviv University Creativity Test, and others which were created specifically for the study. The Parkinson’s patients consistently offered more creative responses to the tasks in each test.

Another test, designed to rule out obsessive-compulsive behaviors commonly found in Parkinson’s patients, showed no link between compulsions and creativity.

Following both studies, Inzelberg concluded that dopamine treatments, including both the synthetic precursors of dopamine and dopamine receptor agonists, have the added effect of increasing creativity.

Beyond the results of the study, Inzelberg believes art can have enormous benefits in helping patients beat depression and stay connected to their communities.

“After my first paper, I helped organize exhibits of patients’ paintings in Herzliya and Ra’anana and received feedback about similar exhibits in Canada and France,” she says.

“These exhibits were useful in raising funds for Parkinson’s research, providing occupational therapy for patients and, most importantly, offering an opportunity for patients to fully express themselves.”