We are now looking for Parkinson’s patients too.
I mentioned that Dr. Laurie Mischley was recruiting for Multiple Sclerosis patients. She was so impressed with what she had observed that she added the Wahls Diet as one of the dietary variables to her ongoing Parkinson’s study. That is great news! If any of you have family or friends with Parkinson’s, please encourage them to participate in this study.
Dr. Mischley’s studies are unique. Her team at Bastyr University is studying patients with chronic disease and assessing several variables to see if there is a common theme among those who had the best outcomes and the slowest disease progression. This is a radical approach to a medical study, and one that may change the world.
They have been using this approach to study Parkinson’s disease and have now added the Wahls Diet as one of the variables in that study. In addition, they have a Multiple sclerosis study that also includes the Wahls Diet as a variable.
If you or a family member have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis, you should seriously consider participating in these studies. The effort is minimal—you can participate from anywhere in the world by simply completing online surveys. The surveys are given every six months and include questions about medications, diet, herbal supplements, exercise, meditation, and an array of other factors. This information will give Dr. Mischley’s team an ever-growing data set to analyze, searching for common traits among those who have the best health and function despite having Parkinson’s or MS. Your participation would be a tremendous gift to society because it would help us better understand the impact of dietary and lifestyle factors on health outcomes and functional status for those with Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis.
As Dr. Mischley says,
“We’re taking a step back to ask a common-sense question: ‘Among those with multiple sclerosis who are doing unusually well, what are they doing differently?’”
To find out, the study needs participants from anywhere in the world at all stages of disease, regardless of whether they use alternative therapies. Participants will take the survey online twice a year for five years. The data becomes especially powerful once researchers have tracked people for two years or longer.
Help Dr. Mischley’s team get hundreds, ideally thousands, of participants in her two studies. Together we can build the research literature that documents the impact health behaviors can have on disease progression, disease stabilization, and/or disease reversal. Without published research, clinical practice won’t change. With published research, more clinicians will be willing to utilize diet and lifestyle therapy, restoring health to more patients around the world.
The study uses the “positive deviance” model, which focuses on those who deviate from the norm in their success. Rather than investigating one variable at a time through the usual gold standard of double-blind placebo-controlled trials, which are not effective at for measuring the impact of diet and lifestyle optimization, this study examines multiple factors at once. Ultimately this means they can discover more of the useful interventions that are under a person’s control, such as what foods they eat and what foods they avoid, the types of stress reducting (or increasing) practices they have, their physical activity levels, and the quality of social support in their lives.
The more data Dr. Mischley collects, the better the chances we all have of understanding what modifiable behaviors contribute to health. Please consider participating in this important study – it could help you and many future generations live happy, healthy lives undamaged by chronic illness.
Here is the link to learn more about the MS study.