Doctors and dentists from across the United States presented revolutionary findings at the Parkinson’s Resource Organization’s Symposium held January 14-16, 2011 in Indian Wells.
Several hundred attendees including physicians, dentists, patients, caregivers, chiropractors, psychologists and others learned of new findings and successful clinic trials for minimizing motor disorder symptoms with a non-invasive, non-surgical series of custom plastic mouth appliances. Since traditional medical treatments for Parkinson’s Disease (PD) include medication, Botox injections and brain surgery, the Symposium information was very encouraging and well received.
Presenters included Dr. Jerome Lisk, Board Certified Neurologist; Dr. John Beck, Orthopedic Surgeon; local TMJ Specialist, Dr. Leonard Feld; and Parkinson’s patients Doug Bennett and Pamela Alms. The Symposium focused on the progress being made in the fields of Craniofacial Pain and TMJD (Temporomandibular or “jaw” Joint Disorders) and new treatments that are improving the quality of life for patients.
The event began on Friday with a meeting exclusively for practitioners during which renowned Dr. Brendan C. Stack discussed his forty years of experience working with motor disorder patients. “I began reviewing case studies and comparing patient symptoms in my basement in 1968. And here we are today,” Stack stated with tears in his eyes.
The weekend sessions featured groundbreaking presentations from industry leaders including:
- Dr. John Beck, M.D. described the importance of posture, explaining that the brain receives 40% of its information about posture from the soles of the feet, 40% from the position of the mandible (or jaw), and 20% from the spine. “The brain is sensitive to the neuroposture being off by as little as one millimeter from the line of gravity. If the posture of the mandible is off, the brain is constantly flooded with information and uses a lot of its available energy dealing with this information.” He then explained in detail how the brain of a patient with PD becomes unable to cope with this flood of information, and unable to control the muscles of the body. “The brain activates survival mechanisms thinking the body is ready to fall over. The brain’s stress depletes dopamine and other hormones known to be associated with Parkinson’s disease.”
- Dr. Brendan C. Stack, D.D.S. described how dental mouthpieces realign the jaw and release the stress that causes symptoms in Parkinson’s patients, and those with Tourette’s and Torticollis.
- Dr. Jerome Lisk, M.D. spoke on the relationship between posture and balance from a neurological standpoint. He explained the chemistry of the brain and how it is affected when posture is incorrect. On the last day of the symposium Dr. Lisk exclaimed, “After hearing and seeing the science presented at this conference, I am surprised that in my medical education and career, I have never come across this information as it has been published for years in dental literature.”
Attendees also heard from patients who discussed how symptoms like tremors, balance problems and memory loss all decreased with treatment. The audience was brought to tears when children of patients described their “new” parents.
“Bringing these industry leaders together to discuss and share case studies and success stories speaks loudly for these treatments and the many patients we are helping,” said Dr. Leonard Feld, “It was a very emotional and inspiring conference.”
Dr. Larry Wheeler of Tucson, Arizona attended the event. “I was highly impressed and fascinated with the information we learned. I plan to follow up and see how we can incorporate this work into our practice to help people in our area.” Educating practitioners of these new treatments is a primary goal of the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain (AACP) who co-sponsored the event. These new findings are currently not taught in dental or medical school and may in some instances contradict what is taught. Feld adds, “Some of the top educators in our field are now acknowledging this fact.”
“This was the first symposium to cover the new findings and clinical trials for minimizing motor disorder symptoms with custom oral appliances,” stated Jo Rosen President & Founder of Parkinson’s Resource Organization (PRO). “We certainly consider it a success in the awareness it has generated. Our phone has been ringing with calls from people across the country looking for copies of the presentation and/or skilled practitioners in their area. Our network of TMJ specialists is increasing as well as the number of constituents receiving benefits.”
Rosen concluded, “All in attendance were excited about the possibilities of improved quality of life for patients, themselves and/or loved ones.”
A DVD of the symposium is available by contacting Parkinson’s Resource Organization, at 760.773.5628 or visit their site at www.ParkinsonsResource.org. For further information on motor disorder treatment through dental appliances, visit www.DocFeld.com or call Dr. Leonard Feld at 760.341.2873.