Ping pong is one option for Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a brain disorder. Balance and coordination issues, shaking, stiffness, and difficulty walking are common symptoms. Over time, they worsen.

Treatment of PD

Nerve damage in the substantia nigra part of the brain causes dopamine levels to drop. L-DOPA (levodopa) is a drug used to treat PD. Levodopa is synthesized in the brain to make dopamine. One of the side effects of L-DOPA is nausea. The drug, carbidopa, is given with L-DOPA to counter the effects of nausea.

Namesake of Disease

James Parkinson is credited with naming Parkinson’s disease in 1817. He was a surgeon and paleontologist (the study of the fossils). In 1812, Dr. Parkinson was the first to publish evidence that appendicitis is a disease that results in the perforation of the appendix and can cause death.

Ping Pong and PD

I received an article this past week from a good friend about ping pong as a treatment for PD. I thought it interesting and decided to work it into my writings. I have heard of other non-traditional therapies for PD and decided to add this one to my archive. is a short article discussing automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) as having long-term damaging effects on the brain. Many people are not aware of their negative thinking processes and how long they dwell on negativity.

A method that takes the brain away from thinking is ping pong. The American Academy of Neurology published a study showing improvement in PD symptoms over a six-month period if they played ping pong once a week.

Horse Therapy and PD

There are several sources to review if interested in horse or equine therapy to treat PD. is one that goes into more detail than most.
The connection of the rider with Parkinson’s to the horse improves brain function. The horse’s normal gait (movements) forms a neuromuscular attachment to the rider’s brain that prompts reflex mechanisms in posture. Additionally, sitting in the saddle with the horse walking improves pelvic and trunk muscles aiding and improving balance.

Diet and PD

Keto-based diets eliminate or minimize carbohydrates. Type III diabetes is called Alzheimer’s Disease because of the chronic high levels of blood sugar in the brain. Eliminate the blood sugar connection and the brain performs differently. addresses keto-based diets and PD.

A small study was done over a two-month period in which the protein levels were constant, but the fat and carbohydrate levels changed. Prior to this study, it was thought that low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets increase dopamine levels in the brain. This study compared the low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets to high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets.

After two months, the keto (high-fat and low-carbohydrate) diet showed greater improvement by nearly 4:1. This was not a placebo-controlled, randomized study with lots of patients, but a small study using less than 50 people. It is something to talk to your physician about so that it can be closely monitored if you think this option might help.

Exercise and PD

Early-onset PD symptoms might be improved by certain types of exercises. The Parkinson’s Outcomes Project showed improvement in balance and mobility. The exercises concentrated on flexibility (stretching), aerobic, and resistance training. Two to three hours per week is needed to show results.

Tai chi, yoga, Pilates, dance, qi gong, and other exercises have shown positive outcomes for PD patients. In conjunction with your physician, utilize a trainer experienced with the needs of PD patients.

Prolonged Fasting and PD is a PubMed article that shows prolonged fasting (three days) and increased levels of dopamine in laboratory animals. Fasting increases BHB (beta-hydroxybutyrate), BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor), PGC-1α (Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha, AMPK (5′ AMP-activated protein kinase), adiponectin, and ghrelin.

Prolonged fasting reduces levels of glucose, insulin, mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin, leptin, IL6 (interleukin 6), and TNFα (tumor necrosis factor-alpha). is a great article on prolonged fasting and neurological disease.

It is not important in this article to delve into the details of each of the factors associated with prolonged fasting. I do a 72-hour-fast monthly to improve overall health and to rebuild my immune system. Fasting improves the good things needed for a healthy life and reduces those things that can harm you.


Ping pong, horseback riding, keto-based diets, exercise, and prolonged fasting are not thought of as helping a person with PD. Not every therapy works for everyone. Do not initiate any of these alternatives in this article without consulting your physician, especially if you are on medicines to treat diseases other than PD.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –


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