Is Parkinson's down to tail bone deformities

Further to my work and in way of an interesting observation; I have seen dogs with cropped tails suffering from trembles and leg shudders as they get older and a Breton Spaniel with Epilepsy, that shook uncontrollably in fits, if it had not had its medication.

I guess they need the weight of a tail to keep their pelvis in tip top shape.

Which may add further weight to my belief that the Sacrum and Coccyx area is most relevant for many situations in PD.

Does anyone know if there has been any in depth studies looking at deformities in this region of human anatomy?

Interesting thought, but we used to keep Boxer dogs, with docked tails, and never came across any with tremors. Is it just specific breeds?

Not sure if it is breed Withy - but it could be immobility in the pelvic region plus additional injury.

I was more interested in reading studies upon human adnormality in the pelvic area, as I have noticed an uneven aspect of pelvis bone either side of mine.

I'm unsure how deformities of the tail bone (which is rudimentary in humans anyway) could explain my tremor, slow movement, rigidity, blank facial expression, depression etc

All the evidence points to Parkinson's being primarily caused by loss of cells in a specific area of the brain called the substantia nigra. Normally these cells produce a chemical called dopamine which activates other parts of the brain to control movement. Loss of cells means reduced levels of dopamine and less control of movement.

Parkinson's primarily impairs movement so it makes sense that the brain, which controls movement is the part of the body affected.

Hope this helps

dr jonny

I think the cells are actually inactive but I am not a neurologist - ie. they have not been stimulated by a returning wholesome synapse to be able to produce or handle dopamine.

Common sense tells me that the dopamine in my toes and fingers probably comes from the adrenal glands and the brain governs. So damaged nerve cells around the body will inhibit the brains ability, just as putting water in the oil will eventually mess up a car engine and effect its performance.

No, the cells of the substantia nigra are lost. I think of Parkinson's like this: we receive electrical power in our homes from a power plant via a network of power cables. In Parkinson's the power cables (nerves) work fine but the power plant (brain) is inefficient in sending out power; resulting in power cuts and affected movement in our homes (our body).

dr jonny

Never one to let ignorance impede my inclination to have an opinion, I have done a little investigation. (By the way i did once receive a nasty blow to the coccyx.)

- the brain and spine share csf - cerebro-spinal fluid. indeed the brain and spine can be seen as being on one side of the fence and the body on another.

- enormously long axons go from the base of the skull down to the lumbar region

- α-Synuclein Levels Are Elevated in Cerebrospinal Fluid following Traumatic Brain Injury perhaps it also happens in the spine?

imagine the following scenario:
a person has a spinal injury. alpha-s is elevated enormously. something (what?) goes wrong and the alpha-s start to misfold. this infects other alpa-s up the spine until it reaches the base of the brain - where the nigra sub. is situated. Bingo - you win PD.

not saying this has ever happened, but it doesn't seem to me to be impossible.


O.K., so following on from that theory T., could damage to bones attached to the spine also have an effect, I wonder, or is that '' a Bridge too Far"?

I have damage to leg, hip, ' pelvis ' with s.steel holding all together, but developed PD quite a while after the damage occurred.

Well I have always accepted I was short of a brain cell or two and can understand cells not being replaced for whatever the reason; failure in genetics, and or redundancy through inactivity and natural biological bent for efficiency, etc..(which is why I used the term inactive).

I am far from being an academic bod, but the reaction of regeneration or recovery of cell function?, recent changes in my body (that I can only put down to BocowoA and physiotherapy) seemed to become hampered by the fused area or base of my spine. And I naturally want to get over that problem which is why I posed the questioning thought.

Thank you for the responses :grin:

Happy days

I was thinking about the Domino effect as well M - Which is why I am a great believer in getting the right physiotherapy to slow down and reverse the progression :grin:

I find that exercise , rather than pure physiotherapy, is having a dramatic effect, not only in helping with mobility, but also with increased brain function and social interaction .

I do use a set of exercises given to me by the physio, plus gym work following a Brookes Uni programme, plus chair exercises plus hydro.

It doesn't help with 'freezing' however.


hi mike
its hard to imagine an injury like that not also having an effect on the spine!

another scenario is an injury to the spine (or in other cases an infection in the gut or in the nose) continually poring out poisonous alpha-s over many years which accumulate in the sub. nigra , it being particularly sensitive to the little beasties. that would fit in with B's experience and the odd case of an apparent cure eg through cleansing the bowels.
all idle speculation of course.
btw the nose has a particularly open access to the brain, the gut is connected by the vagus nerve and the spine is part of the cns.

Hi Mike,

The "freezing" aspect is an interesting one, and I sometimes wonder whether it is connected to the ears. No don't laugh. To be more specific; connected to the fine tuning over the "Mechanisms of Balance." Where the synapse telling the brain it is safe as the body is not going out of balance, fails to register in the brain to cause that moment in indecision.

I totally agree that exercise is vital and standing on one leg from time to time is an excellent way to exercise the areas that let the body know where it is.

Just a thought, for thankfully I very rarely suffer from "freezing" and often purposely pause on one leg in turn, raising my heels (usually when undressing for a bath by way of an opportune time).


Hi T.

My pelvis is at a slight angle because my left leg is now just a little shorter than my right leg as a result of pinning and plating, so there is a strain on my pelvis which in turn causes my back to ache sometimes, so a definite 'connection', but whether or not it affects the brain I really don't know?

However, there was quite a gap between 'hitting the concrete' and the onset of PD symptoms

I have suffered from heavy catarrh most of my life, so there is , potentially , another source for the theory ?

Hi dr jony...I acknowledge what you say...the substasia nigra area of the brain is pigmented....we get loss of these pigmented cells, as seen on cross sections of a dissected brain in post mortem, there the SN area looks much paler and devoid of pigment. Those pigmented cells that get lost, carry Dopamine.Is it the cells themselves that carry the dopamine, or is it the PIGMENT...? Whats the significance of the pigment,,?...what is the SYNTHESIS mechanism of the pigment..? another question : What causes the suicide of the pigmented cells..? I konw they are attacked by Co-B Isoenzyme...why and how..?.any research in this area. Would ( improved) blood perfusion (healthy blood circulation of the brain/no atheromas) help avoid the degeneration of the substasiai Nigra..????!! foods for thought..? Regards...

very interesting question Eugle. i dont think anyone knows the answer yet
some people seem to have thouht the melanin was just a by-product of producing dopamine but now there are other theories.

hi mike
nose problems seem to extrremely common i pwp. i came across one article which said pd would be considered mainly a nasal disease if the side effects of the brain infection were not so severe.

Hi T.,

So if I have broken bones below, and have broken my nose ( twice ) and had a bit of surgery at the time, to reshape it ( helmet nearly took it off on impact ) plus the cattarh, then it looks like, in theory anyway, I may have been a prime candidate for PD?

But what about environment, I wonder if that plays a part , there seems to be an above average incidence of PD in West Berkshire for instance?

Who knows, my wife reckons that driving a diesel car since 2005 hasn't helped?

It would be good if a definitive answer could be found soon, for future generations.



Hi Andy,

Not laughing, because I have had similar thoughts.

Without the exercise, I do tend to be worse so even if there is no actual proof that it helps generally, I will continue with it because I know it helps me.

They say that Tai Che ( ? Spelling ? ) can help , so as I now have some time on my hands, I may try that also.

It still is unlikely to help with the freezing, and I think that just slowing down a bit helps, and believe it or not, if I 'march' , arms swinging, up and down the local church hall, in a straight line, I can throw my stick away and don't get any freezing on turning.

Can't do it in the street for fear of being arrested, but it poses questions as to why it works, as does the question 'where do all my symptoms go when I'm driving', because they do leave me then, until I switch off and open the car door and lo & behold they're back?