Parkinsons disease drugs
Introduction and description
Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system.
It is essentially brain damage which appears to start in the region of the brain stem.
The disease is characterised by the accumulation of a protein called alpha-synuclein into inclusions called Lewy bodies in neurons.
The disease then spreads and gradually kills off or disrupts the function of more of the parts of the brain.
A separate section has been provided which describes the symptoms and their progression.
It is clear that there is considerable misdiagnosis when it comes to Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson's disease has a cause and there is a danger that by handing out pharmaceuticals, the cause is never investigated. Ideally the cause - heavy metal poisoning and other forms of poisoning, viruses, parasites, bacteria, plus a host of other environmental factors - is investigated whilst pharmaceuticals are used as as a part of the palliative care given until the cause is found.
Lewis Carroll’s mad hatter would have been one of the eventual victims of PD as he was suffering from mercury poisoning. Exactly the same symptoms can be caused by pharmaceuticals at inappropriate doses or inappropriately prescribed. Even acute stress can cause symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease.
There is no cure currently for Parkinson’s disease as such all the drugs available are not cures but various pharmaceuticals to alleviate the symptoms – so some help with the tremour, some help with the memory problems, some help with the lack of dopamine.
Thus for example, there are many that have dopamine agonist action.
Personally, I think we ought to get our dopamine from food - chocolate, coffee and bananas for example all have dopamine in them, - as such they are a natural source of dopamine which have no side-effects unless of course you overdose on them too!
But getting the dose right is extremely difficult for pharmaceuticals and because the drugs are highly complex, often acting on numerous receptors, they can cause quite a considerable number of side effects and one of these is hallucinations.
It is worth adding that Parkinson's disease and the Parkinson's disease drugs appear to have a record for producing extraordinary hallucinations - so real and so vivid the PD sufferers are no longer able to differentiate real from unreal. The key then becomes how to deal with them and how should the carer help?
For anyone caring for someone with Parkinson's disease who experiences hallucinations or visions, there are two things you need to do, irrespective of whether it is caused by the drugs or not [and often you do not know]:
- Either reduce the dose of the drugs [obviously in co-operation with your doctor] or stop them altogether - maybe temporarily, but it is a sign of overdose
- Record and 'be with' the person on the journey they take through those hallucinations or the vision. Accept the vision as real - it is real, you may be getting a privileged insight into another dimension spiritually. You will be doing what every psychotherapist has done for the past 30 or 40 years when they gave someone LSD or mescaline - being a 'sitter' and a carer, guiding them through and reassuring them you are there and all is OK.
The landscapes, the scenes, the beauty of what some people see can be incredible and not to be feared. Don't be frightened, you are glimpsing the sacred.
There may be symbolism built into these visions, use the symbolism section of this site to unravel the meaning.
How it works
So why the hallucinations?
Pharmaceuticals are usually looked on as a threat by the body and at overdose proportions, they are a considerable threat.
Similarly, if the person has not actually got Parkinson's disease, but is suffering from an overdose of another pharmaceutical, for example, the addition of yet more pharmaceuticals simply adds to the level of threat.
Any substance that enters our bodies is assessed for whether it is a help or a threat. When any substance enters via whatever route – by mouth, by wounds, by injection, by inhalation, by smoking or snuffing or smearing on our skin as an ointment and thus absorption via the skin, the body’s defence mechanism checks to see what it is and whether it is friend or foe.
At too high a level, at levels where cell destruction can take place and the body itself is at risk, the cells send out a message to the Will via the nervous system which says HELP HELP HELP THREAT THREAT THREAT we are being attacked we are dying DO SOMETHING.
The Will responds by mobilising its defence systems – immune system, the system of the kidneys and liver which act as filters, the stomach with the acid, the blood filtering system and so on. But at overdose levels the defence systems may be overwhelmed and the messages keep on coming in.
HELP, HELP, HELP, THREAT, THREAT, THREAT, we are being attacked, we are dying DO SOMETHING.
The Will can do no more from a defensive point of view, but it is able to release messages which help to ease the pain and this it does. Thus we get endorphins, for example, being released, which give pain relief and start to shut down functions we no longer have need of because the energy is better targeted to survival.
The presence of all these neurotransmitters is a sure sign of overdose. We don’t get a spiritual experience via neurotransmitters – neurotransmitters like these are just indicators that the body is trying to ease the pain and suffering from the damage it is experiencing.
But if the overdose is severe and the messages continue HELP, HELP, HELP, THREAT, THREAT, THREAT, we are being attacked, we are dying DO SOMETHING. the Will takes some very drastic action and mobilises all its energy and defenses into the autonomic system.
Now comes some serious activity when we can go out of body, because the Reasoning system Memory and Learning system have all been shut down and we are in effect on automatic pilot – we have gone AWOL.
Unless the autonomic systems can handle the threat, incidentally, from this point on we are technically dying and may get a near death experience.
References and further reading
In the following list, the figures for the number of involuntary hallucinations caused by the PD drugs is shown together with the link to the observation descibing the drug. The figures were obtained from the SEDA figures on the eHealthme web site. The figures were correct as at 2010. I have provided a link to the eHealthme site for each drug, so that you can get up-to-date numbers and also so that you can see the side-effects in general for each drug.
No of hallucinations
The grey cat
Sex with apparitions
A 3D Taj Mahal
Sinemet [carbidopa, levodopa]
The eHealthme site had no figures for the following drugs, which does not mean they don’t have the same effects only that no figures appear to have been collected.
- Etybenzatropine - Etybenzatropine also known as ethybenztropine and tropethydrylin, is an anticholinergic/antihistamine marketed under the trade names Panolid, Ponalid, and Ponalide, which is used as an antiparkinsonian agent. ‘Like its analogue benzatropine, it may also act as a dopamine reuptake inhibitor’
- Lisuride (Dopergin, Proclacam, Revanil) is an antiparkinson agent of the iso-ergoline class, chemically related to the dopaminergic ergoline Parkinson's drugs. It is used to lower prolactin and, in low doses, to prevent migraine attacks. The use of lisuride as initial anti-Parkinsonian treatment has been advocated, delaying the need for levodopa until lisuride becomes insufficient for controlling the Parkinsonian disability. Lisuride is not currently available in the US, as the drug was not a commercial success in comparison with other dopamine receptor agonist anti-parkinsonian compounds. It is still used clinically in a number of countries in the EU and is still commercially available in the UK and China.
- Rigotine – is used for Parkinson’s disease and is highly complex, binding to numerous receptors. There are, however, no figures for hallucinations on the ehealthme web site
- Akineton [biperiden hydrochloride] 001525
- Amantadine and Symmetrel 001523
- Apokyn 018004
- Artane 001534
- Azilect 018022
- Benztropine 018037
- Bi-sifrol 018046
- Brain injury associated with widely abused amphetamines: neuroinflammation, neurogenesis and blood-brain barrier 023922
- Clomethiazole 005584
- Cogentin 001524
- Common Drugs May Cause Cognitive Problems 021361
- Dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome: implications for patient care. 013025
- Entacapone 023993
- Feelings of presence in Parkinson's disease 003442
- Hallucinations and delusions 003444
- Hallucinations from a cocktail of pharmaceuticals and Cod Liver oil 012180
- John the bridge and the horse 006195
- Kemadrin (procyclidine hydrochloride) 001531
- Lodosyn 019266
- Memantine and Namenda 001528
- Mirapex 019538
- Modafinil and Provigil 005434
- Nabilone and Cesamet 017360
- Neupro 019685
- Norflex 016879
- Norflex 019703
- Oliver Sacks - A 3D Taj Mahal 001522
- Oliver Sacks - L-DOPA, Parkinson's, Tourette's and mania 014344
- Oliver Sacks - Sex with apparitions 001521
- Oliver Sacks - The grey cat 001520
- Ondansetron 005699
- Orphenadrine 016878
- Orphenadrine Citrate 019817
- Parlodel 015650
- Parsidol 019832
- Pergolide Mesylate 019839
- Permax 001529
- Pramipexole 015662
- Prevalence and phenomenology of olfactory hallucinations in Parkinson's disease 014727
- Requip 001532
- Rivastigmine 015703
- Ropinirole Hydrochloride 020014
- Selegiline Eldepryl, Emsam and Zelapar 001533
- Sinemet [Carbidopa, levodopa] 001526
- Stalevo and COMTan 001527
- Sublingual atropine for sialorrhea secondary to parkinsonism: a pilot study 019470
- Tactile hallucinations in patients with Parkinson's disease 014711
- Tasmar 020180
- Totally destroyed - Josh 016877
- Tremin 020233
- Trihexyphenidyl Hydrochloride 020235
- Visual hallucinations 003443
- Visual hallucinations and delirium during treatment with amantadine (Symmetrel) 023516
- Xyrem 005430