There are very few well-designed studies and consequently very little evidence to support or refute the use of most complementary therapies for the treatment of PD. This does not mean that alternative therapies cannot help someone with PD, but for Western-trained healthcare providers treating someone with PD who is considering alternative therapies, it is difficult to know what and how to advise them. The first rule in medicine is do no harm, so if a particular therapy such as massage therapy is not thought to be harmful then it might be recommended. On the other hand, ingesting an herb, injecting glutathione, or ingesting a homeopathic remedy without any proof that it is beneficial and without knowing the potential harmful effects or drug interactions may not be in the best interest of a person with PD. Specific complementary therapies that are commonly prescribed by alternative practitioners are reviewed in the following section. As the majority of these therapies, especially those involving oral and intravenous modalities, have not been formally studied for efficacy or potential harm for the treatment of PD, the author of this chapter and editors of this book do not specifically recommend any of these treatments and strongly encourage their use only under the direct guidance of licensed health professionals with expertise in the specific therapy the individual is considering.
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