"Miracle Cure!"

Progressive degenerative incurable disease- that's what I was told. It took me a year to digest this information.

Do I believe in miracles? Sure, but who cares what I believe. The only way to approach medical news is through careful consideration of facts, scientific research, and by following the money.

It would help to ask, "Is this really true?" Or "Do I know this for sure?" Before promoting the pretty sparkly fantasy of "healthy ever after."

I see the benefit of looking on the bright side, actively participating in research and fundraising, and even holding hope for a treatment to slow or stop the nightmare of inevitable progression. That is all good stuff, but the stream of sponsored online sources of "medical news" has gotten increasingly murky.

It appears there's been a misunderstanding about how clinical testing and research actually works. You and I might not have the time or inclination to earn a degree in medical research, yet wonder how we can tell if an article is just clickbait.

A few questions to ask before promoting that glowing headline from some unknown online zine about a miracle cure. By the way, when is the last time you heard of or read that source of news?

Put hope aside for a few minutes, and ask questions that get right to the point.

1. Who published this information, and what company or entities sponsored them? Monetary gain is the clearest trail to follow.

2. Are there links and references to verified sources and current information?

3. Is the article well rounded or just one sided?

4. Has this drug or treatment been tested in the human population, and if so, which phase of trials has been reached?

5. Is this drug safe, affordable or even available?

6. Has anyone in our population tried this treatment with recognizable results, and are you certain they were not paid to advertise this product?

7. Since so many hacks insist upon using stock photos of Michael J Fox as the illustration accompanying their articles, why doesn't he have access to this treatment?

I don't mean to burst anyone's bubble or offer rebuke, but checking sources should preclude any celebration over a miracle cure.

Even after all the disappointment, I remain reasonably (hesitantly) hopeful about legit research and advancements, but the onslaught of articles with glowing headlines from questionable sources that drop in photos of Michael J Fox... just stop.

And to anyone promoting products that supposedly halt the progression of Parkinson's:
Show me the money or get off my lawn.

Yes, I just quoted Clint Eastwood in a rant about discernment. I'm tired of watching the vulnerable bite these hooks and place their hopes in the parade of snake oil.

Fortunately, most administrators of our support groups feel similarly, and remain vigilant while screening for imposters, but those of us desperate for a cure need our own firewall.

I'll gladly test any new products or procedures, with live footage if necessary, but can only offer honest results to readers. Friends and strangers alike have approached, asking me to promote their fabulous products. Unless I have a comfortable amount of experience with a product or procedure, and it has been proven to help Parkinson's, I can't help them.

Integrity matters.

It's plainly wrong to make money off sick people by promoting misinformation and fakse hope. If anything, we should be calling these opportunists out, instead of forwarding this endless stream of BS.

I've spent years researching sources and following the money for a living, and rely upon critical thinking skills to discern the practicality and legitimacy of _any_ information.

Unless a medical treatment has passed all phases of human testing, is available and has shown promising results in a large portion of our population, it may as well be clickbait, because it doesn't affect my quality of life.

In other news, racoons got into our kitchen and helped themselves to a variety of snacks, and the lovely cake my daughter just made. The cure for this is a new dog door.