Hope for Parkinson’s Patients in Israel

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Researchers of Parkinson’s disease in Israel have made an amazing discovery. An unplanned change in therapy reveals that the uncontrolled trembling characterizing patients suffering from Parkinson's stops when they are participating in a session of guided visualization. Our Israeli correspondent brings us the details.

Parkinson disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous systems that manifest as a slowing down of the body, muscle rigidity and uncontrollable tremors in a state of rest.

An experiment with Parkinson's patients - currently taking place in Rambam Hospital in the city of Haifa, Israel - indicates that guided visualization is helping to stop tremors. It appears that where conventional medication often fails to reduce the typical tremor, attending a guided visualization session does the job.

[Dr. Ilana Schlesinger, Neurologist, Rambam Hospital]: (Hebrew, female)
"This, in fact, is the first time anyone has ever succeeded in completely putting a stop to tremors without the use of medication. This is something very unusual."

But perhaps the patients are simply falling asleep? This option has been checked out and proven wrong.

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The patients indeed stopped trembling for the rest of the session and even felt better for a while after it.

[Danny, Parkinson's Patient]: (Hebrew, male)
"If you let yourself flow with it, it lasts longer. If you don't, it's shorter."

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Guided visualization helps patients more than just stopping their trembling, says the nurse guiding the visualization.

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This research has been published in the International Journal of Movement Disorders. And Rambam Hospital has received some very enthusiastic responses via e-mail.

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It all started by chance…

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Why is this happening?

Research will continue to try and answer questions for which there are no answers at present.

Reporter: Aviva Grunpeter Photographer: Anat Markram
NTD, Israel

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