There are few times when I will write an article like this - one that is critical of someone or something. But this is one of those times that I feel I have to say something. One of my fellow Parkinson's bloggers, Allison, i.e. The Perkie Parkie, (another great Parkinson's related blog!) made mention of an article in one of her Facebook posts... This eye-opening article was written by independent research writer Lisa Vanderburg about so-called 'cures' for Parkinson's Disease, among other ailments. It actually made me so angry to think that this kind of crap is still going on in this day and age that I just had to say a few words about this, because I don't want any of my readers nor any Parkinson's patients to be duped by scam artists like this.
First of all, let me state the obvious, just for emphasis: THERE IS NO CURE AT THIS TIME FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE! There are things you can do to slow it down (like exercise) and possibly (if research plays out) things like DBS that also may slow it down. But there is nothing out there that can cure PD completely!
Basically what Lisa's article is about is in response to a comment on another legitimate PD blog, where someone mention's their 80 year old Grandma having Parkinson's, and I quote:
"My grandma had Parkinson’s disease, she is about 80 years old, it was detected 7 years ago....L-dopa and carbidopa medicines are given, but won't give much relief. She can't eat food and the skin is damaging forming ganglia. This is may be the last stage of disease.. nothing was really working to help her condition. Finally she started on Parkinson's herbal formula I purchased from xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxx, I read alot of positive reviews from other patients who used the Parkinson's herbal treatment. She used the herbal remedy for 7 weeks, its effects on Parkinson's is amazing, all her symptoms gradually faded away, she feeds very more freely by herself now! I recommend this Parkinson’s herbal formula for all Parkinson’s Patients."
(I've x'd out the name of the company/website just for legal purposes; if you view Lisa's complete article it IS mentioned there)
Lisa goes on where, after Googling this so-called 'cure' site, she goes onto the site (posed as a customer) and proceeds to do an online chat with the so-called 'doctor' (I use that term loosely).
I'm not going to go through all the chat transcript (I've linked the article at the end), but basically she asked about this so-called treatment for her 'husband' with Parkinson's. The response was not only amazing, but down right unbelievable:
"He will be completely cured after the 7 weeks of usage; He will be restored back to his formal and normal self"
Really? COMPLETELY cured? No more PD symptoms at all??? According to this huckster - yes, completely cured!
Of course, it will take 'only take two bottles of this so-called 'cure' at a cost of $282 USD. Not only Parkinson's, but this 'amazing' potion (yes I am being sarcastic) will cure a multitude of conditions, including such things as:
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
and the list goes on.
Like me, probably most of you are feeling your 'bullshit meter' going off right now. Lisa then goes on with various questions she posed to this 'doctor' like: Is their product approved by the FDA? (yes our products are approved by the food and drug agency) - Really? I doubt that very much; Did he approach MJFF for funding for this cure and are they aware of it? (No we don't ask fundings from Michael Fox because we don't actually need funding to sell our products) - Of course not, MJFF wouldn't even be in the same room with this 'doctor'. He even said, when asked how he can claim this CURES these major diseases, that 'it is not a claim, but they've been doing this for over 20 years'!
Reality Check Time
Now, like all of you that might have Parkinson's or have relatives with one of the aforementioned terrible diseases, I wish there were a cure. I really do - and I have no doubt that someday SCIENCE will come up with something to stop or cure Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, MS, and the like. And I admit that I take some supplements in the hope that they will help with my brain function and maybe -just maybe- help reduce some of the effects of PD in the future. But even these I take only from scientific study, not from some site that claims a 100% cure! The reality is there is no cure for PD, Alzheimer's, and the like; if someone claims there is a cure you can bet the only cure they have is relieving your wallet of the weight of some of your hard earned cash! Trust me, if there ever is a cure for these type of diseases, it will be BIG news, and whoever or whatever company comes up with it will be well known and referenced by places such as MJFF, The National Parkinson's Society, The National Alzheimer's Society and the like. It will NOT come from some off-the-wall website that no one has heard of before.
Just remember what your daddy always told you: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is! (And someone is usually trying to milk you of your money!) Again, my goal here was just to remind everyone to be cautious out there - I know that we all want a cure for PD, and sometimes we can want it so badly that we could be fooled by this kind of crap.
Finally, I want to thank Allison for posting the reference to this article, and Lisa for writing and exposing this practice. I'll be back again soon with some more posts, so keep reading everyone!