Ma Kuang Singapore news


Can Parkinson's Disease Be Cured? Here's What We Know

YU SONG HUA Senior Physician


Parkinson’s Disease


Parkinson’s disease is a bradykinetic movement disorder caused by many different factors (cerebral vascular disease, cerebral arteriosclerosis, infection, toxicity, trauma, medications, and genetics).


Common signs and symptoms:

-Resting tremor

-Muscle rigidity

-Gait and postural disturbances

-Slowness of movement

      •Slow movement, difficulty getting out of a chair

      •Freezing, shuffle gait, festination

      •Difficulty with initiating a movement

      •Small handwriting

      •Speech difficulty

      •Swallowing disturbances


In mid- to late-stage Parkinson’s, other symptoms unrelated to movements, such as depression, cognitive deficit, and sleep disturbances, can severely compromise the patient’s quality of life.

How to improve communication problems with Parkinson’s patients?

Mid- to late-stage Parkinson’s patients often suffer progressive cognitive deficits that eventually lead to dementia. As the brain degenerates, patients often have difficulty with phonation, so they speak in low volume. This leads to anxiety as communication is often compromised. TCM associated these symptoms with malnourishment of the liver and kidney systems. Herbal medicine and acupuncture treatment focuses on nourishing the two affected systems, clearing brain-fog and stimulating the cranial-facial and oral-laryngeal system.


What are some precautions caretakers should be aware of?

The caretaker should encourage the patient to speak louder, and listen attentively and patiently. This will ease the anxiety. Encourage the patient to participate in leisure and social activities that are therapeutic to cognitive disturbances, such as various community events for seniors. Keep the patient’s mind and body active by performing moderate exercises daily.


How to reduce risk of dementia in Parkinson’s patient?

The prevention of early cognitive and speech deterioration in Parkinson’s patients should begin in the early stage of the disease. The key is to keep the mind and the body active through exercise-ball workouts, writing, brain games, physical activity, social interaction, and a positive outlook. Eat foods that are good for the brain, such as walnuts, goji berries, fish, shrimp, kidney, sesame, lotus seeds, and peanuts.


Here are three culinary medicine recipes:

      1.Gastrodia elata pig brain soup

Ingredients: Gastrodia elata (Tian Ma) 10g, one pig brain

Direction: Put all ingredients in a ceramic pot, and add adequate amount of water. Simmer for about an hour. Salt to taste. Ingest both the broth and the pig brain. Use daily or every other day.

Function: Relax muscles, unblock meridians, increase mental clarity, tranquilization. Best used for Parkinsonism, vertigo, dementia and tingling in the extremity.


      2.Snow fungus goji berry lotus seed soup

Ingredients: Snow fungus 20g, goji berry 10g, lotus seed 40g

Direction: Make soup with the ingredients. Simmer till all ingredients are soft. Add crystal sugar to taste. Use daily.

Function: Nourish kidney, nourish Yin, improve digestive health and reduce inflammation. Best used for Parkinsonism, dementia, dry mouth and emaciation.


      3.Gastrodia elata fish head soup

Ingredients: Gastrodia elata 15g, Szechuan lovage root (Chuan Xiong) 10g, one fresh carp head

Direction: Soak gastrodia elata and lovage root till soft, cut into thin slices, and place them in the fish head. Place the head on a plate, top with green onion and ginger, and add adequate amount of water. Steam for about 30 minutes. Ingest both the carp and the broth. Use every other day.

Function: Unblock meridians, nourish the brain. Best used for Parkinsonism and dementia.