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Experiential observations and anecdotal insights from the patient community have generated many key discoveries for the field of Parkinson’s research. A chance question (“Why do people with Parkinson’s smell different?” – click here to read more about that) or random interaction have opened doors to entirely new realms of research.
An good example of this are numerous reports of symptomatic relief at high altitudes. Some people with Parkinson’s find that when they are above a certain altitude, they are almost symptom free.
The mechanism of this phenomenon is unknown, but a new study in the Netherlands is hoping to help us better understand it.
In today’s post, we will discuss the Talisman study.
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The Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked nation of 755,000 people in the Eastern Himalayas. It is embedded in the mountainous region between China and India, and it is one of the highest countries in the world – sitting at an average land elevation of 10,760 feet above sea level (Source).
Interesting facts about Bhutan (Source):
- Bhutan was the first country in the world to have specific constitutional obligations on its people to protect the environment. Among the requirements, at least 60% of the nation must remain under forest cover at all times.
- One-third of Bhutan’s population is under the age of 14 (its median age is 22.3 years).
- It is the only nation in the world where the sale of tobacco is completely banned.
- The capital (and largest) city, Thimpu (pop.: 114, 551), does not have a single traffic light.
- It was one of the last countries in the world to introduce television. The government lifted a ban on TV—and on the Internet—in 1999.
Interesting, but what does any of this have to do with Parkinson’s?