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Parkinson's Disease


A total of 1.5 million Americans have Parkinson's Disease, more than are afflicted with multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy combined. Parkinsons, a degenerative disorder of the brain, results from the destruction of substantia nigra cells that produce dopamine. Typical Parkinsons symptoms include rigid muscles, tremor, bradykinesia (slow movement), gait disturbance, and postural instability.

How Upper Cervical Care Relates to Parkinson's Disease

While medical science has not determined the exact cause of PD, recent research is pointing towards a possible trauma-induced origin for PD.1-18 Evidence supports that trauma (in particular mild concussive injury to the head, neck or upper back) increases the risk of PD onset.1-18 Following the trauma, PD symptoms can take months or years to develop

The purpose of upper cervical care is to reverse the trauma-induced upper neck injury; thereby eliminating adverse effects upon the brain.While many Parkinsons sufferers recall specific traumas such as head injuries, auto accidents or falls, some do not.  An evaluation is necessary in each individual's case to assess whether an upper cervical injury is present and whether benefit from upper cervical care can be achieved.


Research Summary

Dr. Elster completed a preliminary study of 10 Parkinson's patients in 1999 (see research articles below). By 2019, approximately 65 patients have been examined and treated by Dr. Elster using specific upper cervical care. All patients showed evidence of trauma-induced upper cervical injuries during examination (upper cervical radiographs and digital infrared imaging). Many patients recalled specific incidences of trauma (auto accidents, falls, concussions, whiplashes) while some did not. Some traumas had occurred more than 10 years (even as many as 40 years) prior to the onset of Parkinson's symptoms. Even if a patient did not recall experiencing an accident or trauma to his or her neck, upper cervical injuries were found in 100% of cases examined.


Case Studies

View Case Studies related to Parkinson's Disease

Research Articles and Publications
  1. Bower JH, Maraganore DM, Peterson BJ. Head trauma preceding PD. Neurology 2003; 60: 1610-1615.
  2. Tsai CH, Lo SK, See LC. Environmental risk factors of young onset Parkinson's disease: a case-controlled study. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2002 Sep; 104(4):328-33.
  3. Ellis SJ. Tremor and other movement disorders after whiplash type injuries. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1997 Jul; 63(1): 110-2.
  4. Lees, AJ. Trauma and parkinson's disease. Rev Neurol (Paris) (SU9) 1997 Oct; 153: 541-6. 5. Seider A, Hellenbrand W, Robra BP, et al. Possible environmental, occupational, and other etiologic factors for parkinson's disease: a case-control study in germany. Neurology (NZO) 1996 May; 46 (5): 1275-84.
  5. Goetz CG, Pappert EJ. Trauma and movement disorders. Neurol Clin (NEU) 1992 Nov; (4): 907-19.
  6. Factor SA, Weiner WJ. Prior history of head trauma in parkinson's disease. Mov Disord (NIA) 1991; 6(3): 225-9.
  7. Factor SA, Sanchez-Ramos J, Weiner WJ. Trauma as an etiology of parkinsonism: a historical review of the concept. Mov Disord (NIA) 1988; 3(1): 30-6.
  8. Doder M, Jahanshahi M, Turianski N, Moseley IF, Lees AJ. Parkinson's syndrome after closed head injury: a single case report. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry (JBB) 1999 Mar; 66(3): 380-5.
  9. Bhatt M, Mankodi A, Elias M. Posttraumatic akinetic-rigid syndrome resembling Parkinson's disease: a report on three patients. Mov Disord 2000 Mar; 15(2):313-7.
  10. Taylor CA, Saint-Hilaire MH, Cupples LA. Environmental, medical, and family history risk factors for Parkinson's disease: a New England-based case control study. Am J Med Genet 1999 Dec 15; 88(6): 742-9.
  11. Jankovic J. Post-traumatic movement disorders: central and peripheral mechanisms. Neurology 1994 Nov; 44(11): 2006-14.
  12. Nora LM, Nora RE. Selected legal issues in movement disorders. Neurol Clin 1999 May; 17(2): 257-66.
  13. Smargiassi A, Mutti A, De Rosa A. A case-control study of occupational and environmental risk factors for Parkinson's disease in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Neurotoxicology 1998 Aug-Oct; 19(4-5): 709-12.
  14. Veldman BA, Wijn AM, Knoers N. Genetic and environmental risk factors in Parkinson's disease. Clin Neurol Neurosurg 1998 Mar; 100(1): 15-26.
  15. Ben-Shlomo Y. The epidemiology of Parkinson's disease. Baillieres Clin Neurol 1997 Apr; 6(1): 55-68.
  16. Turjanski N, Lees AJ, Brooks DJ. Dopaminergic function in patients with posttraumatic Parkinsonism: an 18F-dopa PET study. Neurology 1997 Jul; 49(1): 183-9.
  17. Stern M, Dulaney E, Gruber SB. The epidemiology of Parkinson's disease. A case-control study of young-onset and old-onset patients. Arch Neurol 1991 Sep; 48(9):903-7.
  18. Semchuk KM, Love EJ, Lee RG. Parkinson's disease: a test of the multifactorial etiologic hypothesis. Neurology 1993 Jun: 43(6): 1173-80.

The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.