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Survivor's Guide to Idiopathic Cervical Dystonia, Musician's Dystonia, Writer's Cramp, and Parkinson's Disease


If you have been diagnosed with an adult onset idiopathic dystonia, Parkinson’s disease, or Parkinsonism, and are looking for some natural relief, you’ve come to the right place.  We’ll go over some of the latest scientific research, and share some tips on how to slow the progression of these motor diseases.  If you can find the right naturopathic doctor to guide you through these tips, some symptoms may even resolve.

If you have a different adult-onset chronic illness, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, or the early stages of Alzheimer’s, the principles of health expressed in this website may still be useful to help you find a way back to healthier days.  We hope this information will provide a starting point and inspire you to do some of your own research.

Note that I am not a doctor.  I am an engineer who graduated in the top 1% of a highly ranked engineering university.  Five years ago, I started feeling an occasional pull in my neck under stressful situations. Three years after that, I became completely disabled by a mysterious and excruciatingly painful loss of control of my neck muscles. Two neurologists, including one at a world-renowned research hospital diagnosed me with idiopathic cervical dystonia.  Idiopathic means unknown or unprovable cause.  Thus, the neurologists could only offer me symptomatic treatment – quarterly Botox shots into my neck for the rest of my life, or until they stopped working.  One also suggested counseling.  In effect, I was sentenced to a lifetime of pain and disability.  By late 2019, even with a Botox shot, I couldn’t even get into the shower without help, had to lay in bed almost all day, and never left the house except for doctor appointments.

Today, I am sitting up and on most days, pain-free.  I look almost normal when I walk.  I have not had Botox shots or any other pharmaceutical treatments in the last two years.  Instead, I am under the treatment of a naturopathic doctor whom I talk to every few months.  I have a much healthier lifestyle and many of my long term health issues and anxiety have faded away.  I can often do 60-90 minute hill hikes with no muscle or shin pain, something I haven’t been able to do for decades. 

Even though my father and his father both developed disabling dystonias, I am no longer worried about the potential hereditary nature of dystonia.  I realize that genetics which increase our risk of certain adult-onset diseases very rarely determine our outcomes.  Despite our genetic differences, we can support our body’s immune, detoxification, neuroprotection, and repair systems for a much better life.  

I have done over a thousand hours of scientific research into dystonia and Parkinson’s disease.  In this website, I will show you what I did for a better outcome, and you can too.  

There is always hope.  Welcome to dystoniahelp.org.

Systemic Health and Chronic Illness

When we have a chronic illness, our fundamental systemic health is often treated as if it doesn’t matter.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

In order to improve our outcome with any chronic illness, it is important to begin by addressing any fundamental systemic health issues, such as in the diet, gut, or liver.  

As an analogy, consider a city trying to recover from an earthquake.  At first, it is important to distribute emergency water and food, or anything to help people survive.  But what if this inadvertently becomes the permanent solution?  The city will slowly continue to deteriorate.  This is essentially what we are doing when we address chronic illness with only pharmaceutical after pharmaceutical.  Our life will be livable but our bodies will continue to deteriorate.  In the case of Parkinson’s, we are expected to progress down the 5 H-Y scale stages, each with more motor symptoms, and chance of hallucinations or other delusions. 

Our city recovery effort would be much more effective if we repaired fundamental services, like tap water, electricity, sewage, and garbage pick up, along with providing emergency water and food.  These fundamental services would help  minimize the spread of toxins and disease, and support a variety of clean-up and repair efforts.  Eventually, the city could be at least partially rebuilt.  It won’t be the same as before, but that’s OK.  This is what we’ll be trying to achieve in this website – rebuilding our gut, immune, detoxification, neuroprotection, and repair systems so we can be more like the healthy people around us.

Fundamental Health

  • Gut and Microbiome:  A normal gut contains trillions of bacteria in thousands of species, collectively called the microbiome.  When in healthy balance, these bacteria help break proteins into components called amino acids, manufacture hundreds of the biochemicals we need, shield us from some diseases, and reduce absorption of toxins.
    • An unhealthy microbiome imbalance is called dysbiosis.  Dysbiosis can be a driver for many systemic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [81], Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. 
    • Dysbiosis is usually indicated by frequent constipation, diarrhea, excessive gas or burping, multiple food sensitivities, or super stinky bowel movements.
    • Constipation forms of dysbiosis, after decades, can increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s by up to 4 times [5], and is a similar risk for Alzheimer’s.
    • Dysbiosis can be caused by overuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics, or overexposure to pesticides and herbicides.
  • Mitochondria: Mitochondria are like tiny factories within every cell in the body.  Among hundreds of functions, they produce biochemical energy for the cell and manufacture mineral/metal transporters which are critical for everything from detoxification to bone health.
    • Mitochondrial disease can cause a variety of symptoms, such as muscle weakness, exercise intolerance, impaired hearing and vision, osteoporosis, or diabetes.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D is a signaling hormone with many functions, including signaling mitochondria to produce more mineral/metal transporters [11], and coordinating the immune system response.
    • Vitamin D deficiency predisposes us to systemic disease like diabetes, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune disease, gout, dysbiosis, sleep apnea, and Parkinson’s [15].  Deficiency can also cause short sleep, sleep apnea, and 14 times the risk of developing severe COVID.
    • Vitamin D deficiency has become more common as we have less exposure to sunlight and eat less fish.  Vitamin D deficiency is especially common in darker-skinned people who have moved to areas with less sunlight.
    • Note that vitamin D deficiency is easily corrected by a doctor with blood testing. But my naturopathic doctor wanted me to get my blood vitamin D level all the way up to the high end of what healthy people who spend all day in the sun naturally have.  This is approximately twice the level considered “sufficient” by our national health agency, but was key to my recovery.
  • Liver: The liver is responsible for hundred of functions, including filtering blood from the digestive tract, processing biochemicals, helping digestion, and excretion of toxins.
    • Liver disease can be involved in many systemic diseases, especially obesity and diabetes.
    • The liver is responsible for the final clearance of excess manganese.  Excess manganese is a primary cause of movement disorders including dystonia and Parkinsonian disorders.  52% of liver cirrhosis patients exhibited Parkinsonian movement disorders [67]. 
    • Liver disease has become more common with modern long term toxins like plastics, junk food, and junk food packaging.
  • Diet: Just like we can’t rebuild a city with contaminated recycled materials, we can’t recover our health without careful attention to food. Since this subject is fairly complex, I will write an entire section on diet, including digestible proteins, resistant starches, antioxidants, healthy fats, and foods to support our immune, gut, liver, and mitochondrial health.
  • Antioxidants: Antioxidants are a class of biochemicals in our bodies that help protect or repair damage from toxins, inflammation, and daily metabolism.  Without sufficient antioxidants, oxidative stress reactions can damage mitochondria, cells, and neurotransmitters and make us age faster than other people around us.

A valid question to ask is, “Does any of this stuff really matter once we have a chronic illness?”  The answer is a resounding YES!  Let’s see how treating fundamental health can help for dystonia and Parkinson’s:

Fig. 1: Examples of Systemic Treatments for Dystonia and Parkinson's
  • Gut Dysbiosis
    • Treating gut dysbiosis in Parkinson’s patients with constipation resulted in very significant improvements in their motor and non-motor symptoms [6].  All 11 patients in the study reported a much higher quality-of-life 12 weeks after the one-time treatment.  Some of the patients who started at stage 3 (moderate) Parkinson’s went to stage 1 (mild)!
    • Treating gut dysbiosis in dystonia has not been formally tested yet. However, in 2021 it was discovered that the majority of dystonia patients had a specific type of gut dysbiosis, in some ways opposite from the type found in PD.  More than 200 biochemicals in the blood were significantly altered compared to healthy controls [7].
  • Mitochondrial Dysfunction
    • Good dietary choices and supplementation have been shown to help reduce mitochondrial dysfunction in chronic disease [16].
  • Vitamin D Deficiency
    • Vitamin D supplementation significantly reduced progression of PD in one common genetic subgroup during the 12 month trial period [79].  The patients in that group on average actually improved on their 1-5 Parkinson’s scale scores.  
    • Vitamin D supplementation can also help break up alpha-synuclein clusters, which are commonly found in long term PD progression [14].
    • Vitamin D supplementation has not been tested against dystonia yet, but has been used to successfully treat chronic neck pain and chronic back pain, common early symptoms of dystonia.
    • Vitamin D supplementation has also been used to successfully treat depression, generalized anxiety disorder [80], restless legs syndrome, tics, pain from peripheral neuropathy, osteoporosis, dry eye, and autonomic dysfunction, all more common than usual in Parkinson’s and sometimes in dystonia.
  • Liver Disease
    • In liver cirrhosis patients with Parkinson’s, transplantation significantly reduced their Parkinson’s scale scores [67].
    • Of course, I am not suggesting you sign up for a liver transplant. But there are known ways to improve liver health, such as by reducing certain common toxins, and adding specific antioxidants to the diet.
  • Antioxidants
    • Taurine is an antioxidant which is highly prevalent in the brain and other organs. Supplementation can help protect against toxicity-induced motor deficits [48], dopamine production deficits [52], mitochondrial damage [49], and seizure activity [52].  Taurine can also improve toxicity-induced learning and memory deficits [50], and help protect against diabetes, kidney issues, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s [52]. Taurine can also help reduce risk of glutathione depletion, and promote neurogenesis [52].
    • Internal availability of taurine is determined mostly by diet, gut, and pancreas health.  Supplementation can be risky and I will explain later.


Although the treatments in Figure 1 have been shown to help with dystonia or Parkinson’s, they are clearly not specific to movement disorders.  They are important in many chronic diseases because they help support our body’s immune, detoxification, and repair systems.   

With the help of a doctor who understands systemic health, we have a chance to do even better than the research studies report. This is because in research studies, usually only variable can be tested at a time.  A doctor can fix multiple fundamental issues at the same time.   For instance, correcting vitamin D deficiency helps the body maintain a healthy gut microbiome – it really shouldn’t be an either-or issue.  Also, a good doctor can follow symptoms and help bring up supplement dosages slowly. Over-supplementing is like trying to bake a cake in half the time by using twice the temperature.  You will not get the results you want, and instead you can set yourself back.

After the treatments described in this website, my health has improved in many surprising ways in the last two and a half years. For instance,  I no longer need the sleep apnea pump I used to use every day for more than two decades to fight chronic fatigue syndrome. I no longer scuff my shoes when I walk, no longer have restless legs syndrome, don’t feel faint when I stand up in the morning, and my eyes and mouth are no longer dry. My thinking is clearer and I speak louder and enunciate more clearly. My skin color and condition is better. Finally, I now rarely have nightmares, and am rarely anxious or stressed by anything.

Manganese Toxicity

The treatments in Figure 1 don’t help reduce dystonia or Parkinson’s symptoms directly.  But they do improve the health of our fundamental systems, which are deeply relevant to the causes of dystonia or Parkinson’s.  For example, a healthy gut, mitochondria, vitamin D levels, and liver are all necessary to maintain proper manganese levels in the brain. Manganese, like the more commonly known magnesium, is needed for several functions in the body.  But the amount of manganese that is needed is miniscule, and even slight excesses deposited in the basal ganglia region of the brain can interfere with dopamine production, dysregulate its release, oxidize it, and drive clustering of alpha synuclein [18].  Therefore, low levels of excess manganese  accumulated from ordinary air pollution can cause Parkinson’s disease after decades [10][8].  Larger excesses can lead to early onset Parkinsonism [28] or dystonia [27] after years.

But that exposure was in the past.  What can we do about manganese toxicity today?

Improving our fundamental health and reducing our air pollution intake today can help our body slowly clear excess manganese from the brain.  This detoxification can take months, even in a healthy person.  But it has been shown that when excess manganese is removed, some cellular functions are improved, dopamine production can be at least somewhat restored [62], and even neurogenesis in the basal ganglia is possible [13].  Thus, removal of excess manganese can not only reduce symptoms, it can reduce drivers of disease progression.  In my case, I slowly regained most of my neck motor functions.  

Excess manganese can also affect other regions of the brain, the liver, and the pancreas.  Therefore, when excess manganese is a factor in idiopathic Parkinson’s disease, cervical dystonia, or writer’s cramp, you will likely also experience at least 2-3 of the other symptoms from the list below. (However it is possible to have manganese-induced musician’s dystonia without any of the symptoms below.)

Fig. 2: Other Potential Symptoms of Manganese Toxicity
  • Early symptoms of manganese toxicity may include insomnia or other sleep disturbances, fatigue, depression, irritability/aggression, headaches, violent thoughts, mood swings [40], hearing loss, tinnitus [76], apathy, weak muscles, reduced sense of smell, or constipation.
  • Difficulty learning, short term memory loss, or difficulty recalling common words can be due to impaired production of acetylcholine [18].
  • Motor symptoms may include restless legs syndrome [41], reduction in fine motor control, smaller handwriting, soft voice, tics, creaky, cog-like motion of certain muscles [40], gait abnormalities [40], toe-walking, postural instability [40], or balance issues.
  • Manganese-induced dysregulation of dopamine [18] can cause easy addiction [17] including sex addiction, attention deficit disorder [29][41], mania, hyperactivity, audio or visual hallucinations [40], or delusions [40].  This effect is somewhat similar to but less intense than cocaine, which enhances the effect of dopamine.
  • Manganese-induced dysregulation of norepinephrine and epinephrine can cause dizziness or autonomic / cardiovascular issues such as irregular heartbeat and feeling faint when standing up (orthostatic hypotension) [1].
  • Excess manganese dysregulates GABA [18], which can result in seizure activity.  Note that GABA boosters such as baclofen are sometimes used to treat dystonia or tardive dyskinesia [51].
  • Manganese toxicity in children can cause risk of autism spectrum disorder [31].  Adults with autism spectrum disorder have a much higher than normal incidence of Parkinsonism [30].  Genetic differences in manganese levels [56] could explain this correlation.
  • Manganese toxicity can cause Alzheimer’s disease [18] or hypothyroidism [84], and elevated levels in the urine are associated with diabetes [39].
  • Manganese toxicity can also damage the liver or cause pancreatitis, making it harder to naturally eliminate the excess manganese.
Fig. 3: What Manganese-Induced Dystonia Felt Like

The progression of dystonia in general is not well described anywhere I could find, and can vary from individual to individual.  But I thought I’d give it shot.  

Note that manganese-induced dystonias will usually start in the most-used muscle groups, because muscle activity tends to focus deposition of excess manganese [33].  The neck muscles are the most used muscle group for most adults, therefore cervical (neck) dystonia is the most common dystonia among adults.  However, professional musicians with greater than 10,000 hours of practice almost always get dystonias starting with their most used hand (musician’s dystonia).  The focusing effect of muscle activity on manganese deposition is so powerful that musician’s dystonia is 20 times more prevalent among professional musicians than cervical dystonia is among adults.

  • My dystonia started with a subtle feeling of weakness in the neck, and my head felt heavy.
  • Later, one of my neck muscles would tighten under stress.  It is a weird feeling, but not unlike someone subconsciously tightening their shoulders under stress.  The difference was that I could not do anything to relax that one neck muscle, so all I could do is control my other neck muscles to avoid pain.  As with the majority of the people with cervical dystonia, the muscle caused my head to turn to the right (spasmodic torticollis). 
  • Sitting in a particular chair and my car became less comfortable.  The back of my head would push against the headrest, and I couldn’t control it.  I also started shuffle-walking more frequently. My voice got softer.
  • Later the spasmodic torticollis would become more triggered by more things, such as cold air on the back of my neck.  I experienced constant pain. Touching my face in a particular spot would help me stand straighter.  This is common in people with cervical dystonia, and is called a “geste antagoniste” [83].
  • As my condition worsened, the geste antagoniste stopped working and the pain got worse.  My head bobbed when walking and my back was tight.  If you want to see what this looks like, search for Federico Bitti’s TedX talk – I looked almost identical to him.
  • Later, I developed a bilateral finger twitch.
  • Months later, after a minor accidental manganese exposure, I developed constipation and three of my neck muscles locked up, even when I was lying down.  I could no longer stand straight for more that 2-3 seconds.  It was quite bizarre and excruciatingly painful.
  • Things started improving nine months after I started treatment for manganese toxicity with my naturopathic doctor, and one month after the trains stopped running behind my house.  Trains can shed an enormous amount of manganese when their wheels squeal, for instance around curves.
  • Note that manganese miners experiencing manganese toxicity (“manganism”) were frequently reported to have trouble walking, and especially backwards, but I never experienced significant issues with walking. This is probably because miners’ most used muscle groups are for walking and lifting.  Not surprisingly, they also developed severe arm/shoulder dystonias, but rarely cervical dystonias.  


My naturopathic doctors both warned me that as with any metals detoxification process, my symptoms were likely to (frequently) get worse before they got better.  None of us really knew exactly what this meant for my cervical dystonia, but it turned out to be very true in a bizzare sort of way.  Basically I slowly regained the ability to move in certain ways but not others.   Sometimes I’d lose a movement ability and had to relearn it over days or weeks, but it would usually end up better than ever before. 

For instance, I feel perfectly normal when I lie down nowadays.  Sometimes my neck feels perfectly normal when I’m walking.  But when I’m sitting, it’s sometimes hard to control my neck, depending on the chair shape and the position of my arms!  It’s like I haven’t figured out how to balance my head in every position yet, and the motion to get there can cause two opposing muscles to temporarily contract. The result can sometimes be painful. But at least I no longer have involuntary movements like my head bobbing up and down when I walk. 

I still have a ways to go, but now that most of the excess manganese is out, I think this retraining technique by a neurologist could help me a lot: https://www.fariastechnique.com/

In summary, recovery from manganese-induced dystonia can be a bumpy road.  I explain the disturbing sequence of advancements and regressions to my kids this way:  Let’s say cars traveling in a city represent the motion of neurotransmitters dopamine and GABA.  Dopamine initiates contraction of muscles and GABA releases them.  Manganese would represent roadblocks.  The traffic patterns have become used to many roadblocks.  What happens if I suddenly remove one of them?  Yes! There is a flood of traffic in one area.  There will not necessarily be an overall improvement until the traffic learns new patterns.  And this learning process can take days or weeks.

What makes some people vulnerable to manganese toxicity

A reasonable question to ask is, “Why can some people develop PD from miniscule amounts of manganese in ordinary air pollution [10], while others can be exposed to one thousand times as much in industrial pollution and stay seemingly healthy [27]?”

From my research, the main difference is in people’s varying ability to clear excess manganese from the neurons in their basal ganglia (which are responsible for motor control and coordination).  Clearance of excess manganese from neurons is a normal but complex process. 

SLC30A10: The most important part of neuronal manganese clearance is production of the manganese transporter protein SLC30A10, in an important process called protein synthesis.  Each SLC30A10 produced by a neuron carries one manganese atom out of that neuron to the liver for disposal [85].  SLC30A10 produced by the liver or gut clear the blood of excess manganese [85]. 

Protein synthesis in general is needed for such things as bone health, immune system strength and clearance of toxins.  People who have had impaired protein synthesis for many years are also more likely to have osteoporosis and have higher risk of severe COVID-19.   

Impaired protein synthesis can be caused by gut health issues, poor or insufficient diet, low vitamin D levels, pancreatitis, or mitochondrial dysfunction.  Constant stress can even potentially reduce protein synthesis of SLC30A10, because the body prioritizes resources on immediate survival, rather than long term health needs. But as illustrated in Fig. 1, all of the impairments to protein synthesis are usually correctable to some degree.  

Sometimes mitochondrial dysfunction is caused by a single event, such as carbon monoxide poisoning or a reaction to the use of Cipro.  But as long as the movement disorder didn’t start immediately after the event, it is still possible in many cases to slow the degenerative process that actually causes the movement disorder.  That is, presumably the carbon monoxide is long gone and isn’t blocking dopamine production or transmission.  But the resulting mitochondrial dysfunction allowings toxins like excess manganese to accumulate, and directly affect our ability to move.  Supporting mitochondrial health and spurring SLC30A10 production can clear some of the excess manganese and then the mitochondria, liver, and pancreas will become more healthy.  This will in turn improve our protein synthesis and make it easier for our bodies to clear manganese and toxins more like the healthy people around us.  The goal would not be for a cure, which is generally not possible, but instead to roll back to how we were functioning on our healthier days.

Antioxidants: Another difference that makes some people much more vulnerable to manganese toxicity is low levels of certain antioxidants.  Antioxidants are chemicals that prevent or repair damage from toxins such such as excess manganese.  An analogy to one type of antioxidant is oil: coating iron with oil will slow rusting.  Some antioxidants can also slowly remove certain toxins from the body.

Although low levels of antioxidants make us age faster, there are big risks in taking too much antioxidants.  One is that the body will stop recognizing toxins and removing them.  In analogy, if iron left outside coated in oil doesn’t rust, we may not realize we should bring some of it out of the rain.  This overdosing on antioxidants has never been shown to be possible from food, but instead only from supplements.  Therefore, it is important to work with a healthcare provider who understands proper dosing and symptoms of overdose.

Bowel Movements: When we were younger, having less than one bowel movement a day increased risk of future Parkinson’s disease by 4 times, compared to having two bowel movements a day [5]. There is a similar risk multiplier for Alzheimer’s disease. Constipation allows much more time for the body to reabsorb toxins it has already excreted into the bile.  In the case of manganese reabsorption, the body has to produce another SLC30A10 to get rid of the manganese again.  SLC30A10 production is not a cheap process.  For every manganese atom the body needs to get rid of, it has to assemble nearly 500 amino acids (protein building blocks) to make one SLC30A10. 

Manganese Exposure: Whether or not your movement disorder was caused by manganese exposure [8][10][27][28], it is extremely helpful to reduce exposure to air pollution [86] and other unnecessary sources of manganese.  This is because manganese in air pollution can enter the brain directly through the olfactory bulb (which gives you your sense of smell).   It can reduce your sense of smell, and then deposit mostly in the basal ganglia region of the brain.  

Even a healthy person can take 2-3 weeks to get rid of excess manganese in the brain but only a few hours to get rid of excess manganese in the blood [87].  In a person with impaired production of SLC30A10 or liver disease, manganese levels can remain stubbornly high in the brain or blood even with removal of major exposure sources.  But reduction of exposure is an first step in reducing the risk of manganese toxicity contributing to degenerative processes behind Parkinson’s, dystonias, and Alzheimer’s [18]. 

Below are some potential sources manganese exposure.  It is not necessary or possible to reduce exposure to zero.  My personal target was an 80% reduction, which would likely allow my detox systems to catch up and remove body stores of manganese.  Some of this reduction can be achieved by HEPA filtration, which I will explain later.

Fig. 4: Manganese Sources
  • Airborne (most toxic form), Worst First
    • Working in ferromanganese processing, steel smelting, metal grinding, welding, or battery-manufacturing
    • Digging or playing in the soils within 1 kilometer of factories involved in the above, or in the soils near train tracks (from wheel shedding)
    • Working in the same building with any type of metal welding or grinding operation
    • Forest fire pollution [34]
    • Living next to an active railroad track (roughly 3 times as bad as heavy traffic pollution)
    • Heavy traffic pollution [10] or working in a parking garage
  • Other Toxic Forms
    • Agricultural work using manganese-containing pesticides or fungicides such as Maneb and Mancozeb.  Mancozeb usage doubled risk of sleep issues for the following year [54].
    • Use of psychostimulants (street drugs) containing manganese, e.g. “Russian Cocktail” [72].
    • Stainless steel medical implant corrosion which releases directly into bloodstream, bypassing normal homeostatic mechanisms [73].
    • TPN (IV nutrition) containing normal supplemental manganese of 400 micrograms/day was associated with abnormal basal ganglia manganese levels per MRI (81%), liver damage (31%), depression (66%), lack of concentration (42%), memory loss, and Parkinson’s disease (12.5%) [74].  These were not just elderly people; average age was 48. (For reference, 400 micrograms weighs around one tenth of a sesame seed).
  • Dietary Forms (Not as Bad, Unless Coupled with Poor Gut Health)
    • Contaminated well water greater than 400 micrograms per liter [87]
    • Cooking acidic foods in stainless steel cookware (stainless steel is 1-2% manganese) for years
    • Drinking acidic drinks out of stainless steel cups for years
    • Multimineral or other supplements containing manganese greater than 2 milligrams/day (if you have a movement disorder but are not provably manganese deficient, it is best to avoid supplements with manganese altogether 

Manganese Toxicity Conclusion

Slight excesses in brain manganese levels over decades can cause reduced dopamine production by dopaminergic cells and encourage aggregation of misfolded alpha-synuclein [18], which make manganese toxicity almost indistinguishable from idiopathic Parkinson’s disease.  Higher levels can cause Parkinsonism and dystonia, often starting at ages 40s-50s, 10-20 years earlier than Parkinson’s.  Excess manganese can also mimic heavy metals, and cause a variety of symptoms depending on where it settles.

In my research I did not find any clearly defined treatment for long term manganese toxicity.  Acute treatment is usually with a chelation agent such as Calcium EDTA, but they are relatively ineffective for long term toxicity.  The best overall method that my naturopathic doctors practiced with me was bolstering my detox systems while blood monitoring.  At the same time I identified and reduced my exposures, which was a fairly challenging process which I hope to simplify for you.

Other Toxins that can Contribute to Chronic Disease

There are 

There have been more than 700 research papers written on “manganese toxicity” and “Parkinson’s disease” in the last two decades.  However, in clinical practice, manganese toxicity will usually be ignored as a potential and correctable factor in movement disorders unless you were in a high risk occupation such as welding, which exposes you to high levels of manganese fumes.  But this is unfortunately wrong… I was not in any high risk occupation, and yet I had liver-cirrhosis levels of manganese in my blood.  So I will share the highlights of my research into the connection between poor systemic health, manganese toxicity, and dystonias and Parkinson’s.  In assembling this information, I have consulted with many experts: manganese researchers, a geneticist, naturopathic doctors, and a neurologist.  However, as I mentioned earlier, I am not a doctor and cannot diagnose or treat any disease.  I can only urge you to act and find the right doctor for your systemic health needs.  This information is for educational use, which you may share with your naturopathic or other systemic healthcare provider.  By using this website, you agree that I am not responsible for omissions or errors, and that you will check with doctor before changing any treatment plan.  

The most important thing to know is that manganese toxicity can be caused by exposure, but is more likely caused by the inability to detoxify manganese quickly enough.