Functional Neurology for Parkinson’s Disease

Patient’s in Chicago seeking non-invasive and drug-free treatment for Parkinson’s Disease may now undergo Functional Neurology therapy. Spring Grove Physical Medicine is conveniently located and is staffed with the best Functional and Chiropractic Neurologists in the country. Functional Neurology for Parkinson’s Disease is scientifically proven and is now more accessible to anyone living in and around Illinois.


Parkinson’s Disease: What is it, and what causes it?

Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the brain that manifests in a wide variety of uncontrolled or unwanted physical symptoms, including trembling, stiffness, and issues with balance and coordination.

Commonly, symptoms start mild and progress progressively over time. It’s possible that patients will have trouble moving around and communicating as the disease worsens. Also, they may have alterations in thinking and behavior, as well as trouble sleeping, feeling down, remembering things, and being tired.

Almost anyone is at risk of getting Parkinson’s; however, there is evidence from certain studies to suggest that men are more likely to be diagnosed with the condition than women. Research is being conducted to identify potential risk factors, but the underlying cause is yet unknown. Age is a major risk factor. Parkinson’s disease often does not appear until about age 60, although it occurs in about 5-10% of patients younger than age 50. Some forms of early-onset Parkinson’s disease have been related to specific gene mutations, and these mutations may play a role in disease development in some people.

When nerve cells in the basal ganglia, a region of the brain that regulates movement, are damaged or die, the most noticeable symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appear. This group of nerve cells (neurons) is responsible for making a neurotransmitter called dopamine in the brain. Movement disorders are a direct result of the neuronal death or impairment that underlies Parkinson’s disease. No one has yet figured out what exactly kills the neurons.

Norepinephrine is the primary chemical messenger of the sympathetic nervous system, which regulates numerous bodily activities like heart rate and blood pressure. Nerve endings that produce norepinephrine are also destroyed in people with Parkinson’s disease. Some of the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s, like weariness, erratic blood pressure, decreased transit of food through the digestive system, and a quick drop in blood pressure when a person stands up from a sitting or laying posture may be attributable to a lack of norepinephrine.

Lewy bodies, which are abnormal clusters of the protein alpha-synuclein, can be found in many brain cells of persons with Parkinson’s disease. Researchers are examining the role of genetic alterations in Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia to learn more about alpha-synuclein’s normal and aberrant roles.

Parkinson’s Disease is essentially brain health and neurological issue, which puts Functional Neurology as a prime option among potential treatment methods. 


Understanding Functional Neurology

The field of functional neurology is used to treat a wide range of neurological conditions. Brain injury, degenerative disorders (such as Parkinson’s), movement problems, vestibular challenges (balance and dizziness issues), and any other neurological disease or disorder of unknown origin, something that traditional doctors have not been able to diagnose and treat successfully, are all treated by functional neurologists.

Chiropractic manipulation, alternative therapies, and suggested lifestyle changes may all be used in conjunction with functional neurology as an alternative to surgery and pharmaceuticals.

When it comes to rehabilitating damaged parts of the nervous system, functional neurologists employ techniques that are based on the brain’s wiring and function. When the brain is stimulated, it affects several different types of neurotransmitters, which in turn encourages the development of new neurons and blood vessels in the brain and spinal cord and the formation of new connections between the existing brain and spinal cord structures. A medical subfield concerned with measuring, quantifying, and rehabilitating the human nervous system via sensory and cognitive-based therapies to maximize neuroplasticity, integrity, and function.

The principles of neuroplasticity form the foundation of functional neurology. The brain and nervous system have been shown to be plastic and changeable in response to external inputs. Any kind of experience, whether it be mental, sensory, motor, or emotional, can leave a lasting imprint on the brain. Synaptic plasticity is the process through which synapses (new connections in the nervous system) respond to and adapt to the input they receive. The strength of a neuron depends on the number of inputs it receives; neurons that don’t get much activity weaken and die off. Researchers have discovered that damaged areas of the nervous system can give rise to new neurons.

Innovative therapies used in Functional Neurology for Parkinson’s Disease help improve impaired function by leveraging your brain’s natural ability to repair itself. Our therapies target affected areas with particular activities to help rebuild neural pathways. Therapy regimens include balance training using equipment that provides for computer-controlled and tracked progress. We use an Off Vertical Axis Rotational Device to encourage neural activity in precisely targeted regions of the brain and repeated peripheral somatosensory stimulation designed to reactive your nervous system where abilities have been compromised. We combine this with visual, physical, and speech therapies to support each patient’s therapeutic path and to keep them on track to maximum recovery. Functional Neurology for Parkinson’s Disease is treated this way.


Neuroplasticity: The Foundation of Functional Neurology

The term “neuroplasticity” refers to the idea that the brain and central nervous system may form and reshape new neural circuits to facilitate learning and alter previous patterns of behavior.

Neuroplasticity refers to the ability of the brain and central nervous system to undergo change, which can then be used to aid in the body’s natural process of mending itself after trauma or illness. There was once a period when it was widely accepted as a fact that the brain we are born with is the brain we will always have.

Now we know that to be false. We now know that the brain can modify and adapt to injury through the targeted application of exercise and neuromodulation techniques, thanks to years of study into neurorehabilitation for stroke, brain injury, and other neurological illnesses. To put it simply, this is the foundation of the Functional Neurology approach.

The field of functional neurology does not refer to any one method or treatment protocol. Restoring normal brain function in patients is the goal of this approach, which employs years of research into how the brain functions in conjunction with evidence-based interventions to induce adaptive neuroplasticity.

Many inquire about the variations between medical neurology and the functional neurology paradigm. It’s hardly an either/or situation, really.

Most of a medical neurologist’s time will be spent diagnosing and treating disorders that are obviously pathological. This indicates that some neuronal or glial tissue in your nervous system is dead or dying. People commonly seek out a neurologist as a result, but if diagnostic tests like an MRI or CT scan come back negative or blood tests show no abnormalities, there is no diagnosis to treat.

In functional neurology, we examine how the brain works along a continuum. Stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis are only a few examples of neurological diseases that can be brought on by injury to enough tissues. It is also possible for people to exhibit symptoms of neurological dysfunction without ever being diagnosed with a neurological disorder. No matter where a patient falls on this continuum, they can benefit from a functional neurology paradigm that aims to enhance brain function. 

Functional neurology also serves as a preventative measure by helping many patients identify weaker functions they may not have been aware of previously. Functional neurology allows patients to discover symptoms early before they become a significant problem and allows patients to reduce their risk of advanced brain, spine, muscle, and joint disorders that may appear later in life.


Functional Neurology for Parkinson’s Disease

Clinically assessing and treating dysfunctions in the brain and nervous system is the main focus of functional neurology. Functional Neurology for Parkinson’s Disease aims to treat the root cause of the condition found in the part of the brain in charge of motor skills: the Basal Ganglia.

The brain and the body work together in harmony. When the brain isn’t doing its job, motor (muscle movement or tone) abnormalities always follow. To give just one example, the Basal Ganglia, and more specifically the Substantia Nigra, are progressively destroyed in a person with Parkinson’s disease. Constipation and shoulder stiffness are the first motor results because decreased peristalsis of the intestines means less waste removal.

Tremors and a lack of motor control characterize advanced Parkinson’s disease. The movement disorder associated with Parkinson’s disease is caused by a degenerative brain illness. Disruptions to the central and peripheral nervous systems’ neuronal pathways and systems have far-reaching effects on a person’s health. These systems govern everything from muscular movement to thought and learning to emotion and pain and digestion and organ function. The greatest influence on a patient’s health and quality of life can be made by restoring function to the body’s command center.

Retraining and rehabilitating the brain is the goal of Functional Neurology for Parkinson’s Disease. Neuroplastic alterations can be prompted in a variety of ways, including through the use of smell, taste, sound, balance, vision, movement, and touch. For treatment to have an effect on neuroplasticity, it must first be targeted to the exact region of the brain where it is needed, and then its intensity must be kept within the range that the brain’s metabolic system can handle. If the treatment is not carefully regulated, further damage can be done when dealing with frail or damaged neurons.