Who is John Pepper?
I was born in 1934, in the English town of Harrow, which is famous for its public School. Harrow is now inside Greater London, but in those days, it was north of London. I started my schooling at the age of four, in Harrow. The Second World War started in 1939, before I turned five. I moved around a bit, due to the bombing, and had a narrow escape in 1940, when a landmine was dropped in the back garden of my home, and landed in a thick hawthorn hedge, and failed to explode. Had it exploded, I would not be here to tell the tale. My parents decided to leave Harrow in 1942, and moved to the country, away from the bombing. I went to nine different schools, before I gained entrance to another public school, in Winchester, at the age of ten, after passing a scholarship. I was then, at least two years younger than most of the boys in the class. That turned out to be a major mistake in my education. I found it impossible to settle amongst those, much older boys, and consequently became a loner, mainly due to the bullying I continuously endured for the first two years. I finished school at the age of sixteen, when my father thought that I was old enough to help support my family.
My first job was as an office boy in a bank in Winchester. After one year, I applied for a transfer to an overseas branch of the bank, which turned out to be in Johannesburg, South Africa. There I worked for a further four years, during which I passed all but two of the exams for my Institute of Banker’s Diploma. My elder brother persuaded me to join his employers, Burroughs Machines Ltd, selling adding machines. I did not enjoy selling, but finished up in that company, running the third branch I had established, in the city of Kimberley, which is famous for its diamonds. There I married Shirley Hitchcock, and we had two children. In 1963, I started a new printing business, in partnership with Eric Sulter. That business grew very quickly, until I moved to Johannesburg in 1970, where I started another continuous stationery printing business, while Eric continued to run the Kimberley company.
My Parkinson’s symptoms started in 1963, when I found that I was unable to throw a ball properly. I had never had this problem before, but did not talk to anybody about it. This was followed very quickly by other symptoms, such as the inability to write properly, constipation and chest infections. Then in the seventies I suffered from chronic depression and speech problems, together with other movement problems, such as dropping things and spilling my food. I was finally diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1992, when I had started to walk badly, while dragging one leg and shuffling my feet.
In 1960, I had an accident, on-stage, lifting a dancer. I prolapsed a disc in my lower back. After ten years of pain and suffering, I was advised to do exercise to strengthen my back muscles. This helped me overcome the back problems, until 1977, when I had the offending disc removed. From then onwards, right up till today, I have done regular exercise, mainly aerobic walking these days. I also have been going to the gym, on and off for over forty years. I am not a lover of exercise, but I am very grateful for what it has done for me, since I started in 1970.
There were three unusual situations regarding my Pd history. I was bodily, very fit, which was not very common amongst Pd patients at the time of diagnosis; In 1994 I was prescribed a monotherapy of an MAO-b inhibitor, which stops the natural breakdown of dopamine, in the brain, which gives us the use of a greater amount of our own dopamine; I did not take any levodopa medication after the first two years of being diagnosed, which was extremely unusual; I gave up my high-powered job within three months of diagnosis, which relieved me of an enormous amount of stress; Many patients are not in the position to lose a large amount of their monthly income, as I was prepared to do.
All three of these circumstances have been responsible, in my opinion, for my good health today. Energetic exercise causes the brain to produce a substance called GDNF (Glial Derived Neurotrophic Factor), which repairs the damaged brain cells. This was proved by scientists and announced to the Parkinson’s world in 2006, in Washington DC, at the 1st World Parkinson's Cingress. The medication has also been independently proven to help slow down or even reverse Parkinson’s. From this you will see that doctors and scientists have known for many years that there is a lot we can do to help us overcome Pd. It does not appear to be in their interests to tell us this.
Because I no longer need to take any Patrkinson;'s medication and I live a normal life, I feel that I have to tell the world about my good fortune, and hope that others will follow in my footsteps. I am now seventy-nine, in 2014 and hope to live a normal life for many more years to come.
John Pepper 2014
The Five Most Important Actions Needed to Take Control of Parkinson’s Disease
I am not a doctor, I am a Parkinson’s Patient with 51 years of experience. These are the actions, which have helped me:
1. Regular Energetic Exercise
2. An MAO-b Inhibitor as the only Medication
3. Learn how to Take Conscious Control of all movements
4. Manage Stress Levels
5. Adopt a Positive Attitude
Procedure Could Help Local Patients Beat Parkinson's Disease
Copied from The Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation Weekly News Update
NBC 7 San Diego - Researchers hope a procedure using patients' own stem cells will cure Parkinson's Disease, or at least eliminate symptoms for decades.
Eight patients have joined the project at Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla to take part in the initial trial. Before they are able to proceed, they must get funding and obtain approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
"We're all treading water until the funds can be found and the hoops that the FDA give us can be jumped through," said Cassandra Peters, who was a paralegal at a law firm until 2005, when the symptoms of Parkinson's made it too difficult to work. She was diagnosed at age 44, 13 years ago.
The planned procedure entails taking a skin sample from the patients, then creating pluripotent stem cells with the genetic material. Millions of stem cells will then be injected into the brain to create dopamine neurons, which are destroyed by Parkinson's disease.
It's a technique discovered by Japanese researcher Shinya Yamanaka who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2012.
Jeanne Loring, Ph.D., Director of the Center of Stem Cell Research at the Scripps Research Institute said similar work has been done in the past.
"There was work done in the 1980s and early 1990s in which fetal tissue was transplanted into the brains of people with Parkinson's disease," Loring said.
She said the problem was that fetal tissue produced inconsistent results.Loring believes using pluripotent stem cells derived from the same patient in which the cells will be transplanted will be much more reliable.
"The thing about Parkinson's Disease is there's really only one nerve cell type that needs to be replaced, and we know exactly where to put it," Loring said.
That confidence has been passed to the patients in this project who, unlike many other research projects, have been very involved in the process-- meeting with scientists and researchers in the laboratory.
"If this procedure works, and I know that it will, it will be the answer to so many people's prayers," Peters said.
Funding for the procedure remains a challenge as the government has not provided any grants for the project. Patients have been taking matters into their own hands, raising money for the non-profit Summit 4 Stem Cell, which hopes that Parkinson's victims' hike to Mount Everest base camp can help raise money for this initial procedure.
Edward Fitzpatrick, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's nearly seven years ago, said the group has raised nearly one million dollars and needs to raise $1.5 million more to perform the procedure on the initial test group.
The Food and Drug Administration must also give its approval. Dr. Loring said there were no set requirements from the regulatory group, but researchers are working closely with the FDA to reach a solution.
Copied from The Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation Weekly News Update
DL-ONLINE - George Jernberg suffers from Parkinson’s disease and had a brain tumor removed 20 years ago, and he now has dementia from a combination of the two.
His days were not good.
But, after four years of living in Emmanuel Nursing Home, he was asked in June to take part in a program called Awakenings for residents with dementia.
“He has totally transformed and the change has been unbelievable,” his daughter, Terri Jernberg, said. “My dad, who was very lethargic and having significant issues with memory, has turned around. It’s like he’s truly awoken from a sleep.”
One of the first things Emmanuel did with George was change his medications.
“They were able to determine that one of his sleep apnea medications had the possibility of really affecting his memory issues, so they took him off of it and have had him with different therapy for quite a while,” Jernberg said.
George has been wheelchair bound since moving into Emmanuel, and the staff is now working on strengthening his legs and arms so he can pull himself up.
Last week, Jernberg saw her father take his first steps in four years.
“It’s very emotional for me,” she said. “To me it was unbelievable, and I immediately burst into tears.”
“This is a culture change,” Cheryl Krause, director of nursing, said. “It’s been an eye opener.”
Through a Department of Human Services three-year grant, Ecumen Nursing Homes — including Emmanuel, Sunnyside, Heritage Community and Pelican Valley Health Center — are participating in the Awakenings program.
A nurse at Scenic Shores Nursing Home in Two Harbors started the program, and from her experiences, the grant was written.
“It’s a person-centered model. We’re looking at each individual,” said Executive Director Janet Green.
There are two parts to the Awakenings program. First, staff takes a look at resident medications and sees how they can be reduced, or even eliminated in some cases.
“Instead of medicating to deal with (issues)… When people are upset, everyone is upset,” Green said.
“We interact with the residents and get to know them and wean them off medications that aren’t good for them,” Krause agreed.
The second portion of the program trains staff to get to know each resident in the program — geared toward those with a form of dementia, whether it be Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or something else — and help the resident get off the nursing home’s schedule and live as they choose.
That includes studying the resident and seeing what makes them happy, or which staff they respond to better and why. It also includes talking with family members because they know the resident better than anyone, and knew what made them happy before dementia set in.
Changes can be as simple as getting down to eye level and talking with the residents.
“A lot of it is little things,” Green said.
It can be things like what time do they like to get up in the morning? Do they like to have breakfast right away or sit and have coffee first?
One resident, Krause said, is now able to sit through church service after staff gathered information and learned that she liked to shower, have her hair done and put on her best clothes right before the service because that’s the way she did it when she was able to.
“We can’t bring their memories back, but we can bring back the quality of life,” Green said.
Through the grant, Emmanuel was able to add more staff to individualize care. They started the program almost a year ago, first with training staff and then getting the residents involved.
And while it’s focusing on dementia patients, it’s also being used throughout the nursing home, too.
“Medications are individualized, but we’re learning it’s for everyone,” Green said of the one-on-one learning about residents and doing what’s best for each individual.
The individualization could be encouraging the resident to paint, quilt, garden, do crossword puzzles, whatever they once enjoyed doing. Staff members are taking residents outside more and for more walks, too.
“Not that we didn’t do that before, it’s just added focus and time,” Green said. “The activities have changed.”
Krause said now when someone walks into the memory care unit, there is a noticeable difference.
“There’s a lot more activity,” she said.
“We think it’s going to change statewide and nationwide how we care for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia,” Green said of other nursing homes following the Awakenings program.
“Because we’re seeing it working, and because it’s the right thing to do.”
Since the program began this year, those participating are on fewer drugs, some even completely off medications.
“It’s not that we don’t use medications (when needed),” Green said. It’s just a matter of changing medications for some residents. Nursing homes work with doctors and a pharmacist to study the medications residents are on and see where changes could be made.
“We’re using them (medications) more carefully, and making sure we’ve exhausted all other options,” she added.
With such success, Green said Emmanuel hopes to keep the program even after the grant runs out in a couple years.
“We see no reason not to continue it,” she said. The only question is how to fund it.
Besides making the changes to medications and being more focused on what each individual resident needs, Emmanuel has made some environmental changes as well.
More single rooms are available, which means better sleep at night without a roommate. There is a private dining room where couples can go and feel like they’re out for dinner rather than in a nursing home. There will be an exercise room soon as well.
There’s even a nursery set up for female residents needing to rock their babies.
“Some (residents) are back in that era and want their baby,” Krause said.
It’s not just the residents and their families that are pleased with the results. Green said the staff enjoys the changes as well.
“The staff really loves the residents here. They’re family,” Krause said.
Green said that the grant and the program has allowed them to hire more quality staff as well. It’s not just about experience, but about the care someone can give a resident.
“It’s very relationship based,” Green said. “They have to be flexible and honor the patient’s choices. “We’re letting go of the schedule and looking at the individuals. We’re very pleased. Our residents are changing and it’s a wonderful change that they want to stay active and be strong,” she said.
As most things are, Awakenings, and health care in general, is a learning process. Improvements are constantly being made in the way nursing homes care for their residents.
“We do the best with what we know and then learn better ways,” Green said.
For instance, she said years ago, nursing homes medicated their residents and used restraints on them.
“There’s no rocket science behind this,” Krause added. “It’s just being open to trying new things.”
“The word is out there. Interest is growing,” Green said of the new program.
Jernberg said her father is now driven to exercise, is eating healthier and is anxious to make even more improvements.
“It is absolutely amazing,” she said.
He now watches the news and wants to know what’s going on in the world, he interacts with people more, and he’s asking questions about the health of his wife, who also suffers from memory loss and lives at Emmanuel.
He even got to attend a football game Thursday and visit with various coaches.
“It truly is miraculous. We say, ‘dad’s back.’ It’s improved his quality of life tenfold,” Jernberg said. “I can’t say enough how thankful I am that they put him in this program. We were given the opportunity to make more memories with my dad.”
Jernberg said she knows her father still has dementia and will talk about things that don’t exist, but his clarity has changed.
“Having a conversation with him is exciting again,” she said. “It is truly amazing.”
If you would like to know how I Reversed My Parkinson's Symptoms, then READ MY STORY - Reverse Parkinson's Disease
Go to my website - reverseparkinsons.net
Giving up Work
My name is John Pepper. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1992, at which time; I decided to give up my job.
Why did I feel it was necessary to give up my job?
My wife Shirley, and I, started a new printing business in 1970. That business grew very fast, going public on the Johannesburg stock exchange in 1987. By 1992, my Pd had got to the stage, where my tremors and speech problems prevented me from being able to function properly. I was unable to conduct meetings properly, or even use my keyboard. I had lost all my self-confidence and was only a shadow of my former self.
The shock of being diagnosed with Pd was the final straw that broke the camel’s back! I felt that I could no longer properly carry out my duties, as the head of a big organisation. Clients all knew there was something wrong, but neither they nor I knew how to deal with it!
I was under incredible stress. My desk was like a rubbish tip – my organisational skills had gone out of the window. Other people could not understand what I was saying – I was unable to access ordinary words and often said things that were unintelligible.
My whole world was falling apart!
There was only one solution! I had to resign! I had to do something about my health – I was still going to the gym each morning, before going to work, but this was even a nightmare, because my performance at the gym was deteriorating, noticeably. The neurologist had said that I would gradually get more and more rigid, until I would not be able to move at all.
I would become bed-ridden!
Immediately after retiring, I decided that I was just going to take things easy. I was going to make up for all those long hours I had been working, by relaxing and enjoying myself. I still went to the gym every morning, at six o’clock. After which, I came home, had breakfast and kissed Shirley goodbye, before she went to work. I then sat in my family-room, listening to my favourite classical music and reading books.
There is no prize for guessing that I soon fell asleep. I soon managed to turn day into night. I had only been sleeping for an average of less than four hours a night, for over fifteen years, and that even got worse. My daytime sleeping was even cutting down those few hours I had been sleeping at night.
My life had turned into a living HELL!
What could I possibly do about it?
If you are a Pd sufferer - you will probably know exactly how I felt. You will know what was happening to me. You will know exactly what was going through my mind, and you will understand my decision to run away from the problem! However, I had not managed to run away. It followed me, wherever I went.
After two years of, what I call, ‘Mourning’, I decided to take control of my life again!
Get hold of a copy of my latest book, ‘Reverse Parkinson’s Disease’ - which has the complete story of what I did to overcome this terrible condition, and how I got to the stage, where nobody would ever know that I have Parkinson’s disease.
If you have been diagnosed within the last two years, it is possible that you will still be able to follow my lead and start the process of reversing your Pd.
If you were diagnosed longer ago, but are still able to move fairly well, you might still be able to reverse your Pd.
If you are much further down the track and are unable to even consider doing any energetic exercise, I feel that it might be too late for you. The side effects of medication may well be irreversible. I do not know this for a fact, but my dealings with long-term patients has not yielded any real success.
Take control of your life!
Get hold of your copy of ‘Reverse Parkinson’s Disease’
William here, I want to tell you John Pepper's story as he related it to me. John's story is a story of passion and excitement that I want to share with everyone, especially those that suffer from Parkinson's disease.
In 2002, John wrote his first book – “There IS LIFE After Parkinson’s Disease” - but doctors complained that the title claimed that his Parkinson's disease was now in the past, and he was therefore cured, even though he says he is not cured – so he changed the name of the second edition to - “There IS LIFE After Being Diagnosed With Parkinson’s Disease”.
In his book, he claimed that:
“Nobody would ever know he still has Parkinson’s Disease”.
To put this claim to the test, John consulted another eminent neurologist, who said that:
“You do not have Parkinson’s Disease. There is no cure for Parkinson's disease, therefore you never had Parkinson's disease”
This neurologist did not carry out a proper clinical test on John. He mainly based his opinion on John’s outward appearance, which certainly did not look as if he had ever had Parkinson's disease. But, as he states quite clearly in his book, he still has many of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, but because he has been able to overcome most of the movement problems, he is now able to live a perfectly normal life, providing he maintains his new life style regimen.
After selling 700 books, without any advertising, other than by word of mouth, he decided to change the name of his book to – “Reverse Parkinson’s Disease” – because of the success his story has had with patients, who have read his book and taken the bold steps he has recommended, in order to change their life style.
Why not find out what those lifestyle changes are?
All of John’s recommendations are common-sense solutions to general health problems, and cannot do any harm to anyone, unless their doctors have advised them not to do any meaningful exercise.
If John’s recommendations are all common sense, then why don’t more doctors recommend that Parkinson's disease patients take his advice?
That is a good question!
Do any of John’s recommendations get used for the treatment of other health problems?
Yes! They do!
Speech Therapists use some of these solutions and Cardiologists use others, to treat people with heart problems! Business people use other solutions to improve their business skills!
Why don’t Neurologists routinely recommend these solutions to
their Parkinson's disease patients?
The only answer John can come up with, as a layman, is that only a Parkinson's disease patient knows what he/she is capable of doing.
Parkinson's disease is a movement disorder, and part of his regimen involves strenuous exercise, and who would think that that would be a possible solution?
What type of strenuous exercise is John recommending?
You will have to read his book to find out how he came to the conclusion that walking was the single best exercise to do for Pd. He also does other exercises for strengthening his core muscles, but the answer to this question has to be put into a routine that most Parkinson's disease patients will be able to follow, without injuring themselves.
John has been there! He knows what is possible for a dedicated
‘Couch Potato’ like him to do!
John also knows that unless the Neurologist insists on his patient carrying out these life style changes, or the patient knows for certain that other patients have successfully done it, then the patient will never commit to this routine. It is much easier to take pills and accept what the future has to offer!
Why does John not claim to be cured?
Because he is not cured! If he stops his routine, due to other health problems, of which he has several, then his Parkinson's disease starts to deteriorate again. If ever he stops exercising, or whenever he got clever and stopped taking his medication, during those ten years after being diagnosed, then his condition got appreciably worse.
Why does John no longer take
any Parkinson's disease medication?
John’s Parkinson's disease is at the stage where medication is no longer needed, providing that he continues with his new lifestyle regimen.
Thank you for reading this story,
William Ainslie (John's Personal Trainer)
Parkinson's Insights – My Story Part 1
There is no doubt that, contrary to established thinking, the progression of Parkinson’s disease, can be reversed. Although it has not been done by very many people, the fact remains that I've done it, and many others have followed, and will continue to follow.
My name is John Pepper and I have successfully reversed my Parkinson’s disease, to the point where I no longer need to take any Parkinson’s disease medication, since 2003, and nobody would ever know that I still have Parkinson’s disease.
How did I do this?
My case was quite unique, for the three following reasons:
My neurologist had prescribed a monotherapy of a unique type of Parkinson’s disease medication, which was the only medication that the manufacturers claimed - as a result of conducting extensive double-blind scientific studies on a wide range of patients – could possibly slow down or even reverse the progression of this condition. I know of nobody else, who has only been prescribed this type of medication and nothing else.
I was in the habit of doing regular energetic exercise, for over twenty years, before I was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I was therefore bodily very fit, which was not a unique occurrence amongst newly diagnosed patients, but it was, and is, not the norm; especially as it was accompanied by reason number one. I have continued to do rigorous exercise, since I was diagnosed, which is not common amongst Parkinson's patients at all.
I gave up my high-powered job, three months after I was diagnosed. I was aware that my job had become very stressful to me and I would have done anything at that stage to help me cope with the Pd. I also stopped singing in the church choir. It was not just the services that ate into my time it was all the rehearsals and the travelling to get there and back that was the problem. I wanted to simplify my life. I also left my Rotary club, which was not a burden, but I did not want to be amember who did nothing active in the club. Stress is one of the major triggers for many health issues. It affects many of my symptoms.
The combination of a Monotherapy of a special type of medication, regular energetic exercise and the management of stress, all urned out to be the crucial changes I had made in my lifestyle that have reversed the progression of my Pd, and they made my circumstances unique.
In addition to these three unusual circumstances, I made the following changes to my life style, during the next eight years, after diagnosis:
I decided to change my type of exercise.
I learned how to control my movements by focusing my full attention on controlling each movement!
I examined and changed my whole attitude.
After having given up my job, and having experienced the huge improvement in my health, I came to the realization that ‘Stress’ had played a major roll in the progression of my Parkinson’s disease.
Many people ask me about diet. I have found only one food item that must not be eaten by Parkinson’s disease sufferers and several other interesting substances that should be avoided.
Two years after my diagnosis, I realized that I had to learn to manage my sleeping problems.
The last change I made to my lifestyle was to start doing regular brain exercises.
I hope you have found this Insight helpful.