Neuroregeneration: The Solution to Neurodegenerative Disease
There are currently no quick fix solutions for conditions like Parkinson's, no magic cures. But neuroregeneration is also possible. By applying the principles of Applied Neuroplasticity and using the right kinds of stimuli to create new brain cells and new neural connections, rewiring the brain and bringing into play previously redundant or secondary pathways, neuroregeneration can occur on timescales much faster than any underlying degeneration. It should be perfectly possible to fully recover.
"All the experts we met confirmed that holding back neurodegeneration is possible as long as you keep making brain cells and enabling neural connections. So this means trying new things, and setting challenges.
Of course, learning a language or doing a daily Sudoku have long been touted as ways to keep the brain sharp - but we discovered that we clever humans adapt so quickly to new skills that our brains aren’t exercised by a nightly puzzle unless we mix it up – take up crosswords or jigsaws instead.
Languages are terrific, but learning something totally different, such as Mandarin may exercise the grey matter more than just brushing up rusty French. Life-drawing, I was pleased to learn, is another stimulating alternative requiring thought, concentration and hand-eye coordination.
One of the most interesting experiments explored in the documentary set new groups of solitary walkers versus table tennis players to see who would benefit most over 10 weeks. While the pedestrians improved most in actual cardiovascular fitness and creating new brain cells, the players saw a remarkable growth of cortical thickness; the section of the brain associated with complex thinking.
They scored higher in mood improvement too. The exercise component was effective, but the real benefit came in terms of pure happiness, thanks to the sociable nature of joining a fitness group.
Likewise, when I visited a group in Germany to assess the relative merits of gym work versus dancing, I was delighted (and as a lifelong dancer, not at all surprised) to see that doing the twist was far more beneficial overall than merely lifting weights. Again, the real difference seemed to be the added value of the endorphin boost dancing invoked, plus the novelty of learning new routines, and what you could call the ‘sociability quotient’."
- Angela Rippon,
The Facebook video in the link below shows how, through persistently moving about to music when in an "off" state [when the symptoms of his Parkinson's are most pronounced] - every single day for six months - constantly exploring new movement routines and building stamina and fitness - Dr Gary Sharpe, diagnosed with Early Onset Parkinson's Disease 7 years ago is now on a self-accelerating path to recovery. The moves he is making in this video were simply unthinkable to him in all those years of accepting the narrative of terminal decline. Dr Sharpe desire is to bring hope back to million of People with Parkinson's who have also, unfortunately, been given the same narrative of hopelessness, which runs contrary to current understandings of the human brain. He demonstrates on his website www.outthinkingparkinsons.com that by setting oneself daily challenges, being curious about ones own body and mind and remembering music and play - anything is possible.