An interview with Lisa Eden from Project Parkinson’s on July 18, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.
Opera singer and pianist, Lisa Eden, has been managing care for her dad, Erik, who has Parkinson’s since the start of the pandemic, March 16, 2020. Her father decided early after his diagnosis in 2009 to treat the disease as holistically as possible. He currently takes mucuna pruriens, a natural levodopa pharmaceutical grade powder, to cope with his symptoms. She curates an Instagram page, Project Parkinson’s, to share insights regarding her dad’s holistic approach including posts about mucuna, diet, supplements, and of course, exercise.
Please tell me a little about your background and what got you involved with awareness.
My father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2009. In March 2020 I went to my dad’s as soon as things started closing realizing that he was going to need assistance. I have been managing his care since.
Can you tell me more about your organization?
My dad uses a holistic approach in how he treats his Parkinson’s. He takes natural levodopa in the form of mucuna powder instead of synthetic levodopa. It took him a long time to figure out how to dose it for himself, and we learned a lot of things together that I we wished someone else had told us, so I created Project Parkinson’s, an Instagram page, that includes information about mucuna, and other supplements that he takes to educate people. Instagram has connected us with a lot of people with Parkinson’s and we like to see how they are managing symptoms as well.
What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s disease awareness and hope for a cure?
What I wrote above applies here, but I would add that I am very passionate about holistic health, even before my dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and enjoy sharing my knowledge as well as learning from others.
What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s disease have when working with you?
I only work with my dad right now, but I have been contacted by people via Instagram who are interested in trying mucuna and I’ve helped connect them with the right people to get started with that.
What effect can it have on an individual with Parkinson’s disease?
Switching to natural levodopa helps people with Parkinson’s avoid dyskinesia that is a side-effect of synthetic levodopa medications. Adopting all the holistic approaches, like diet, exercise, supplements as well as mucuna I believe has dramatically slowed my dad’s progression and improved his quality of life.
What would you like to see as a future goal for your advocacy?
I would love to connect with more people on Instagram and continue to learn and share with the larger Parkinson’s community. Sadly, it is an illness that is exponentially on the rise. There are a lot of things that I know my dad wishes he knew when he was first diagnosed, so I’d love to increase my reach to people who are new to the PD community.
What events do you participate in?
Right now, we participate in events hosted by our local Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Foundation. I also created what I call Parkinson’s Social Club for my dad where we get together with his friends for lunch or dinner, I try to create social outlets for him as much as possible.
How does this also assist the caregivers?
I think when a patient is healthier, it makes the job of the caregiver easier, ultimately. I keep my dad on a rigorous schedule – gym 3x’s a week, Pilates 2x’s a week, HBOT 2x’s a week, Bemer/PEMF 2x’s a week, and throw in bodywork here and there, as well as eat clean, all organic, with a hybrid paleo/glutenfree/blood type diet. I have a caregiver come in on Wed and Fridays and she helps me take him to some of his activities, with meal prep, etc., and she always comments on how well my dad is doing, and it’s because of all the holistic interventions, he’s more mobile and in a better mood the more active he is.
How can someone get in touch? What is your website?
Through Instagram, they can privately message me:
If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson’s community, what would it be?
While it is important to take care of your health and self, it is nice to put Parkinson’s in your rear-view mirror and not make your sole focus on just PD.