Self-Medication with Ganoderma lucidum ("Reishi") to Combat Parkinson's Disease Symptoms: A Single Case Study

Kim P C Kuypers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a prevalent neurodegenerative disease for which only symptomatic treatments, mainly focused on motor symptoms. In contrast, conventional pharmacological treatments do not address cognitive impairment and emotional dysfunction. Together with potential treatment side effects, these can cause distress, lower the quality of life, and increase motor impairment in patients. Preclinical research suggests that the Traditional Chinese Medicine Ganoderma lucidum (“Reishi”) can alleviate symptoms in neurological disorders like PD. However, no clinical research to date has addressed this. An (unmedicated) patient, 50 years of age and diagnosed with PD for 5 years, approached the author as he decided to initiate self-treatment with Reishi, lasting 3 months. He wanted to evaluate the effects and decide to continue self-treatment or not. He agreed to be followed during this period, using questionnaires asking him about his (non-)motor symptoms. The most notable finding was the increase in Mindfulness, 3 months after self-treatment started. The motor symptoms stayed stable, there were no extreme changes in quality of life, and emotion regulation seemed to deteriorate over time while slightly improving at the 3-month assessment. While the findings do not allow firm conclusions seen the nature (N = 1) of this study, the small positive changes in some facets of affective behavior and the patient's experience, combined with the evidence from preclinical research, warrant clinical studies in this patient population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)766-773
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medicinal Food
Issue number7
Early online date9 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021


  • case report &#8226
  • Ganoderma lucidum &#8226
  • Parkinson&apos
  • s disease
  • Reishi
  • Self-medication

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