A Naturopathic Approach to Parkinson’s Symptoms Using IV Glutathione

The following is a naturopathic case report summary of a patient with Parkinson’s symptoms who received intravenous (IV) glutathione therapy from her naturopathic doctor. There are many layers of a naturopathic approach to Parkinson’s; IV therapy is just one of the many ways this can be addressed (see more at the end of the article). This case report is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose or self-treat Parkinson’s or any other condition.

Here’s What We Know about Parkinson’s

  • Chronic exposure to toxic metals may increase Parkinson’s risk.
  • Glutathione protects the body from damage. But heavy metal toxicity depletes glutathione.
  • IV glutathione*, under doctor’s supervision, may safely slow Parkinson’s progression and help reduce symptoms like brain fog, memory problems, difficulty walking and uncontrollable shaking. 

Shaking and Stumbling Through Life

Naturopathic Approach to Parkinson’s Symptoms

When 70-year-old JN** first came to see Dr. Crispo her right hand was shaking, and she had trouble walking. Twelve years earlier, when she had started stumbling, she had received a Parkinson’s diagnosis.   

Shortly after her diagnosis, her neurologist prescribed the medication carbidopa-levodopa. Despite taking it for nearly 12 years, her symptoms had slowly gotten worse. In the last 6 months, things had taken a sharp downturn. JN could no longer walk without a cane and the tremor in her right hand had intensified. Her vision had become blurry, and she noticed that she couldn’t remember things or answer questions as quickly as she used to. 

Her biggest challenge was stairs. Her 12-stair flight at home was getting harder and harder to climb. In fact, she couldn’t make it up and down the stairs more than once or twice a day. 

JN’s history revealed a 25-year career working as a phone line installer, two hip replacements and surgery on her right shoulder. Dr. Cirspo’s physical exam showed that JN walked with short steps. Her right leg was slower and stiffer than her left leg. Her posture and neurological exam showed nothing unusual. 

Dr.Crispo knew that JN had a neurological condition. But as there is no definitive test for Parkinson’s, Dr. Crispo was open to the possibility that JN may have another neurological condition that looks like Parkinson’s. 

Nearly one million people in the U.S. are living with Parkinson’s Disease. Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed each year. Source: Parkinson’s Foundation.

Hello? Its Heavy Metal Toxicity Calling

Dr. Crispo took careful note of JN’s former career as a phone line installer. He suspected that the resulting long-term exposure to heavy metals may have led to the symptoms that JN was experiencing. Research has shown that glutathione can protect cells from damage and help the body get rid of excess heavy metals, slowing progression of Parkinson’s and reducing symptoms. Knowing that glutathione is better absorbed when given as an IV infusion instead of taking oral supplements, Dr. Crispo prescribed one IV glutathione treatment to start. Most people don’t experience any adverse effects when taking glutathione. But people who are sensitive to sulfites, which are present in glutathione, may experience headaches, nausea, trouble breathing, and rashes. For maximum safety, Dr. Crispo opted to use a fairly low dose for the first treatment. 

The first IV glutathione treatment took 5 minutes. The results were nothing short of astonishing. Before the 5 minutes was up, JN’s hand had stopped shaking. By the time the infusion was complete, JN could walk down the clinic hallway without a cane, and her gait was normal. 

Despite these immediate and significant results, Dr. Crispo didn’t stop there. One week later, JN was still cane-free (even when climbing stairs), and the hand tremor had not returned. Dr. Crispo did another IV glutathione infusion at a higher dose.

Naturopathic Approach to Parkinson’s Symptoms

One week later, and JN was still symptom-free. In fact, her husband noticed that her mind seemed sharper and that she was answering questions more quickly. The ultimate test was the couple’s regular Jeopardy!-watching sessions. Her husband was delighted to hear her calling out answers, just like she had done in previous years. 

One week after that, Dr. Crispo did another infusion at an even higher dose. JN remained symptom-free for the next two weeks until she hit a snag. While away on vacation (and 18 days after her last IV infusion treatment), JN started having problems climbing stairs. Dr. Crispo arranged for her to get an IV infusion treatment while on vacation. It worked – she was quickly back to climbing stairs, and all symptoms continued to improve. 

One month after the last IV infusion, and JN’s symptoms have not returned. 

Outcome for Naturopathic Approach to Parkinson’s Symptoms 

In Parkinson’s cases where exposure to toxic metals like lead is a factor, IV glutathione may have immediate, long-lasting, and significant impact, resolving Parkinson’s symptoms and slowing disease progression. 

After 3 treatments of IV glutathione, JN is still going strong. She can still walk and climb stairs without a cane. Her hand tremor has not returned. And to the delight of JN and her husband – the Jeopardy! answers are coming fast and furious.

What’s next for JN? Because the treatment was so successful (with no reported adverse effects), JN will likely continue to receive IV glutathione infusions. How often she gets them, may depend on when/if her symptoms return. 

* This case report is not meant to diagnose or treat Parkinson’s or any other disease. It is provided for educational purposes only. This case report is a short summary for one treatment for one patient’s experience and does not reflect a comprehensive naturopathic approach to Parkinson’s disease. Naturopathic medicine is designed to treat each person individually with whole-person care, so if you are experiencing health issues that need treatment, please consult with a naturopathic doctor right away. INM does not advise IV therapy without a naturopathic doctor’s careful oversight. 

** Name changed for privacy.

Editor’s Note

What does JN’s case tell us about Naturopathic Medicine and Parkinson’s? Here are some key takeaways:  

NDs Get to Root Cause by Treating the Patient, Not the Disease. Taking a detailed case history is where NDs shine, to see where the health issue fits into the patient’s life narrative. If Dr. Crispo hadn’t asked about her job history and factored that in, JN’s outcome may have been very different. Dr. Crispo’s focus on the impacts of JN’s long-term occupational toxic metal exposure resulted in a dramatic improvement in symptoms. 

NDs Know How to Get the Lead Out. As a phone line installer for over 25 years, JN was routinely exposed to solder, wiring, and other sources of heavy metals. Dr. Crispo did urine testing, which revealed that JN’s lead levels were 8 times higher than normal. Dr. Crispo’s knowledge of potential sources of lead toxicity, testing, health impacts, and how to get it out of the body, resulted in a successful resolution of all symptoms. 

NDs are Experienced IV Glutathione Providers. Dr. Crispo went ‘low and slow’, by starting JN off on a lower dose of IV glutathione, watching for potential sensitivity, and making gradual increases. As a result, the patient safely experienced all the benefits of IV glutathione infusions without any of the potential adverse effects.

Are you wondering if IV glutathione may help you or your loved ones reduce Parkinson’s symptoms and improve quality of life? A naturopathic doctor certified to perform IV therapy can help! Find a Naturopathic Doctor in your area with our Find an ND search portal.

More Resources from the Institute for Natural Medicine: 

Naturopathic doctor Laurie Mischley is a leading specialist in naturopathic medicine and Parkinson’s therapy. The following are resources for her work and classes for Parkinson’s patients. 

Who is Dr. Mischley? Learn about her groundbreaking work with Parkinson’s patients 

Parkinson’s School: Online courses for Parkinson’s patients

Parkinson’s Summer School at Bastyr University 

Participate in  Parkinson’s clinical research 

Clinical References (provided in the case report)

Hauser R, Lyons K, McClain T, Carter S, Perlmutter D. Randomized, double-blind, pilot evaluation of intravenous glutathione in Parkinson’s disease. Movement Disorders. 2009;24(7):979-983. doi:10.1002/mds.22401 

Kalia L, Lang A. Parkinson’s disease. The Lancet. 2015;386(9996):896-912. doi:10.1016/s0140- 6736(14)61393-3

Otto M, Magerus T, Langland JO. The Use of Intravenous Glutathione for Symptom Management of Parkinson’s Disease: A Case Report. Altern Ther Health Med. 2018 Jul;24(4):56-60. 

Sechi G, Deledda M, Bua G et al. Reduced intravenous glutathione in the treatment of early parkinson’s disease. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry. 1996;20(7):1159-1170. doi:10.1016/s0278-5846(96)00103-0 

Additional Clinical References

Andrew AS, Anderson FL, Lee SL, Von Herrmann KM, Havrda MC. Lifestyle Factors and Parkinson’s Disease Risk in a Rural New England Case-Control Study. Parkinsons Dis. 2021;2021:5541760. Published 2021 Jul 2. doi:10.1155/2021/5541760

Aoyama K. Glutathione in the Brain. Int J Mol Sci. 2021;22(9):5010. Published 2021 May 9. doi:10.3390/ijms22095010

Asanuma M, Miyazaki I. Glutathione and Related Molecules in Parkinsonism. Int J Mol Sci. 2021;22(16):8689. Published 2021 Aug 13. doi:10.3390/ijms22168689

Chang KH, Chen CM. The Role of Oxidative Stress in Parkinson’s Disease. Antioxidants (Basel). 2020;9(7):597. Published 2020 Jul 8. doi:10.3390/antiox9070597

Iskusnykh IY, Zakharova AA, Pathak D. Glutathione in Brain Disorders and Aging. Molecules. 2022;27(1):324. Published 2022 Jan 5. doi:10.3390/molecules27010324

Schwartz GG, Williamson MR. Lead service lines and Parkinson’s disease prevalence in U.S. States. Clin Park Relat Disord. 2021;5:100122. Published 2021 Nov 27. doi:10.1016/j.prdoa.2021.100122

Wang HL, Zhang J, Li YP, Dong L, Chen YZ. Potential use of glutathione as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Exp Ther Med. 2021;21(2):125. doi:10.3892/etm.2020.9557Wei Z, Li X, Li X, Liu Q, Cheng Y.

Oxidative Stress in Parkinson’s Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Front Mol Neurosci. 2018;11:236. Published 2018 Jul 5. doi:10.3389/fnmol.2018.0023

This article is provided by the Institute for Natural Medicine, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, partnered with the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. INM’s mission is to transform healthcare in America by increasing both public awareness of naturopathic medicine and access to naturopathic doctors for patients. INM believes that naturopathic medicine, with its unique principles and practices, has the potential to reverse the tide of chronic illness that overwhelms existing health care systems and to empower people to achieve and maintain their optimal lifelong health. INM strives to achieve this mission through the following  initiatives:

  • Education – Reveal the unique benefits and outcomes of naturopathic medicine
  • Access – Connect patients to licensed naturopathic doctors
  • Research – Expand quality research of this complex and comprehensive system of medicine

Anna-Liza Badaloo is a writer and program consultant, working at the intersection of health, environment, and social justice. With over 10 years of experience at non-profit organizations, she brings a combination of content writing, copywriting, and journalism to her work. Using her strong storytelling ethic, Anna-Liza strives to amplify traditionally silenced voices such as BIPOC, youth, and 2SLGBTQIA+ communities.

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Deb Hubers

Debra Hubers is a serial entrepreneur and has started seven businesses; ranging from an advanced genomics to an employer health care purchasing cooperative. Deb has over 35 years of experience in healthcare finance, education, technology, and pharmacogenomics.

Ms. Hubers has dedicated her career to measuring and improving healthcare outcomes. Her expertise is leveraging technology to deliver personalized, preventative medicine. Ms. Hubers co-founded La Vita Compounding Pharmacy in 2007. Collaborating with her business partner, physicians and strategic partners, Deb has grown La Vita to be one of the most respected and sought-after personalized medicine providers on the west coast. She is also Co-Founder of EpigeneticsRx, a leading provider of precise, personalized, prevention which positively impacts genetic expression.

Alex Keller, ND

Dr. Alex Keller, ND, AFMCP is a graduate of the University of Ottawa with an Honours Bachelor in Health Sciences and Psychology. Although originally intending to attend conventional medical school, following a three-month volunteer internship at a rural Kenyan hospital where he observed how doctors used local food to treat patients, he shifted his career goals and pursued a degree in naturopathic medicine at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto.

After one year of practicing with the esteemed Dr. Chris Pickrell, ND, RH in a community acupuncture setting, in 2015 he and his wife Dr. Jenn Keller, ND moved to rural Ottawa, Canada where they started an organic farm and retreat center. In the same year, Alex and his athletic therapist sister Jess Keller combined their practices to form Keller Active Health, an integrative physical therapy clinic.

Ever curious and passionate about the education of evidence-based natural medicine, in 2017, Dr. Keller joined a fledgling Ottawa-based health tech startup named Fullscript. He serves as its Medical Director and oversees the development of medical education content for practitioners across North America.

Prior to medicine, Alex worked in the renewable energy sector, where he developed a deep passion for sustainable agriculture and environmental stewardship. This connection between medicine and agriculture now drives Alex to focus much of his energy on bringing awareness to the quality and sourcing standards in the supplement and organic agriculture supply chains.

Today, he splits his professional time practicing as a clinician, working for Fullscript, and expanding the farming operation while chasing his kids with Jenn and occasionally running ultra-marathon trail races. He is also currently completing an Executive MBA through the Quantic School of Business & Technology with a focus on supply chain innovation.

Pamela Snider, ND

Pamela Snider, ND, is Executive and Senior Editor for the Foundations of Naturopathic Medicine Project, producing a first of its kind international textbook of Naturopathic medicine through a series of international retreats and symposia. A nationally recognized integrative health and policy leader, she is active in both national and regional integrative health initiatives. Dr. Snider serves on the Board of Directors, was founding Executive Director and co-founder of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Health (ACIH/ACCAHCa consortium of the councils of schools, accrediting agencies and certifying bodies of the licensed, traditional and emerging integrative health professions, and is currently Vice Chair and co-founder of the Integrative Health Policy Consortium (IHPC).  Dr. Snider served as a founding Board Member of the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine from 2014-2016. Her public policy work includes completing a two year appointment to the DHHS Center For Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee (MCAC); serving as a Steering Committee Member for  the HRSA funded American College of Preventive Medicine NCCIM Integrative Medicine in Preventive Medicine Residency program, co-directing in USPHS Region X the Building Bridges Between Provider Communities Group, an exploration of interdisciplinary collaboration and common ground between public health and CAM; serving for 22 years on Washington State’s Health Professional Loan Repayment and Scholarship Program Advisory Committee (HPLRSP); providing technical assistance to and developing key language for the enabling legislation for NIH Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCIH/NCCAM); and staffing Joseph Pizzorno ND during his appointment as Commissioner on the White House Commission on CAM Policy.

From 1994-2003, Dr. Snider served as Associate Dean for Public and Professional Affairs and Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University, dividing her work between academic and public affairs activities, including chairing the Naturopathic Medicine Program Curriculum Review Committee.  Dr. Snider has been teaching, publishing and lecturing widely on Naturopathic philosophy, theory integrative health, public policy, and other topics for over 30 years. Currently, an Associate Professor at National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) in Portland, OR, Dr. Snider also continues at Bastyr University in her 22nd year as a faculty member teaching naturopathic medicine history, clinical theory, and global context. Among her Naturopathic medicine professional roles she serves on the Institute for Natural Medicine’s Leadership Council.  In 1989, she co-led the naturopathic profession with Dr. Jared Zeff, in developing a unifying definition of naturopathic medicine and its principles of practice adopted unanimously by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) House of Delegates. She was a co-investigator in the 2004 NIH NCCAM research study, the North American Naturopathic Medical Research Agenda and CAM Advisor in NIHCCAM’s Financing Integrative Health Care (University of Washington).  Her areas of experience include healthcare education; naturopathic and interdisciplinary clinical theory, curriculum development; clinical practice; government and legislative affairs, public policy, interdisciplinary collaboration, and community organizing.  Dr. Snider has received the Ontario Naturopathic Physician of the Year Award, the Physician of the Year Award from the AANP, the President’s Outstanding Vision Award and Distinguished Alumnus Award at Bastyr University, AANP’s President’s Award, an honorary Doctorate of Naturopathic Philosophy from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM), the William A Mitchell Vis Award from the AANP and The Gathering – NMSA’s Beacon Award. She received her ND degree in 1982 from Bastyr University of Natural Health Sciences and is a licensed naturopathic physician in the State of Washington. She lives with her husband and children at their homestead in North Bend Washington, in the beautiful mountain to sea landscape and home of The Revival – Restore the Vis, an annual student-led community gathering.

Susan Haeger

Susan Haeger is Founder/Principal of Transformative Health Solutions Inc. She has applied her twenty plus years in executive leadership to help shape and drive adoption of progressive health policy for whole person healthcare. She was a section contributor to the 2021 INM/AANP published professional white paper, Naturopathic Physicians as Whole Health Specialists: The Future is Whole Person Health Care that provides supporting evidence for the profession’s significant and unique contributions to preventive, whole person care and models of integrative clinical practice.

Bruce Barlean

Bruce Barlean is an owner and founder of Barlean’s, a global dietary supplement manufacturer located in the Pacific Northwest in Ferndale, WA. Bruce has been actively involved in the Natural Products industry since 1989 and is passionate about making a difference in the world and positively impacting the lives of others.

Bruce believes that people can make a difference in the world through ordinary purchases. He is committed to improving the quality of life for every person on the planet by making the best products and by using the profits to support outreach programs. Bruce summarizes it simply, “We make good stuff to do good stuff”.

In the late 1980’s Bruce became passionate about how health could be dramatically improved with Flax Oil Supplementation. Bruce along with his entrepreneurial parents saw the potential to improve the lives of many people and in 1989 they began selling Flax Oil under the Barlean’s name. From 1989 – 2000 the business grew an average of 40% year over year. While most companies saw a decline in business in the 2001 recession, Barlean’s continued to grow and soon became America’s #1 selling flaxseed oil and continues to be to the present. The brand has since expanded to include additional oils, green food concentrates and other premium supplements. Bruce continues to drive innovation and over the years his products and company have won countless awards including: Eight consecutive Vity Awards for #1 EFA, Six consecutive Vity Awards for #1 Greens Food Supplement, Natural Choice Award for Best Specialty Supplement, Best Product of the Year, Best New Product, Gold Medal Taster’s Choice Award, Gold Medal American Masters of Taste Award, #1 Health Food Store Brand for Consumer Satisfaction by Consumer Lab, and Manufacturer of the Year.

In 2013 as the company was on the eve of celebrating the 25th year in business Bruce and his parents decided to take their desire to help people to a new level that they call Pathway to a Better Life – which is now seen in the Barlean’s logo. Bruce and his parents had always been generous in their giving and support of charities, but as part of the Pathway to a Better Life they decided to increased partnership with charitable organizations such as: Vitamin Angels, Compassion International, KidsTown International, Autism Hope Alliance, Engedi Refuge, Project 92, and others. And because so many people are unable to meet basic nutritional needs, Bruce created a comprehensive Omega-3 and multivitamin formula that he distributes free-of-charge to local food banks. In addition, Bruce decided the company would supply food banks with organic coconut oil to provide people with a health alternative to standard cooking oils.

Always generous with his time Bruce has served as a youth leader for his local church for several years and continues to mentor youth. He has been on several not for profit boards including; Whatcom County Pregnancy Center (2003-2006), Natural Products Association (dates?), and the Institute for Natural Medicine Leadership Council (presently).

The Barlean family have been avid supporters of Bastyr University since the 1990’s and in 2013 were given Bastyr’s most prestigious honor, the Mission Award, which recognizes their leadership over time in improving the health and well-being of the human community.

Bruce currently resides in Ferndale, WA with his wife Lisa and their two dogs: Heinz & Shadow. When he’s not helping others he can be found fishing (catch & release).

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Michelle Simon, PHD, ND

President & CEO

As president and CEO of INM, Dr. Simon brings her passion for working with organizations dedicated to improving the quality and delivery of healthcare. This desire stems from her years of practice as a licensed naturopathic physician. In addition to holding a Naturopathic Doctorate from Bastyr University she also holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She has served on boards for the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), the Naturopathic Physicians Research Institute (NPRI), and several advisory boards. Dr. Simon served nine years on the Washington State Health Technology Clinical Committee, as Ambassador to the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM) and was recognized as 2018 AANP Physician of the Year. Dr. Simon shares with her husband a passion for adventure travel, preferably by boat or motorcycle. She also enjoys teaching a women’s off-road motorcycling class.