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Parkinson's Disease
A Complete Guide for Patients & Families

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Parkinson's Disease, 2nd Edition
A Complete Guide for Patients & Families

Large Print Edition
By William J. Weiner, Lisa M. Shulman, and Anthony E. Lang
The John Hopkins University Press, (2007)
A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book ISBN: 0-8018-8572-8
Genre: Health - Parkinson's Disease

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - December 6, 2006

Living with Parkinson's Disease can be just as difficult for a patient's family, as for the patients themselves. In Parkinson's Disease: A Complete Guide for Patients & Families, 2nd Edition, Doctors William J. Weiner, Lisa M. Shulman, and Anthony E. Lang have composed an indispensable guide book that will help you to understand and cope with this disabling disease. Since this book was first published in 2001, it has served as an invaluable resource for patients of Parkinson's disease and their families. This new edition has been thoroughly updated and new information about deep brain stimulation, new medical advances in the treatment of Parkinson's, work being done with fetal and porcine cell transplants, the use of nutritional supplements such as Co-Enzyme Q10, and other new treatment methods have been incorporated into the text.

Written in clear and unambiguous language, this book is part of the Johns Hopkins Press' series of health books published in Large Print. It is divided into five main sections, Throughout this book, the authors continually offer advice on how to cope with the disease. They also explain problems that can arise, such as financial difficulties, that family members or those newly diagnosed may not yet be aware of. In all cases, they don't merely say 'watch out for this', but they also offer advice on how to forestall various problems from occurring - including advice on diet, exercise, and mental well-being. If it turns out that they are unavoidable, they offer advice on how you can help yourself overcome or deal with the various problems, as well as where you can go for help, should you find that you need it.

Not only does this book look at Parkinson's in a general way, but it also looks at the immense problems faced by those who develop the early or young-onset form of Parkinson's. Patients are considered to have the young-onset form of Parkinson's if they were/are under the age of 50 when the disease first manifests itself. There can be some significant differences between the course of young-onset and late-onset Parkinson's and these differences are discussed in detail In addition, those with young-onset often face a unique set of problems that late-onset patients don't face - such as issues with employment, dating, and the difficulties in getting a correct diagnosis.

Parkinson's Disease: A Complete Guide for Patients & Families, 2nd Edition is a 'must read' for anyone dealing with this disease, either directly or indirectly. It will help you to understand how the disease attacks the body, and the opportunistic medical problems that can develop. This book will also help family members and care givers understand what a Parkinson's patient must endure, and the steps that you can take to help them cope with their day to day routines. Most important, this book will help provide you with the information you need to become a proactive member of your health care team. It will give you the vocabulary to speak with your doctor intelligently - and it will help you understand what your doctor is saying when he, or she, forgets to speak like a regular person. It will also help prepare you for what you might face in the future as the disease progresses. Within these pages you will also find some hope - as a great deal of research is currently underway looking at ways not only to treat the disease, but also to prevent it from occurring in the first place.

Having Parkinson's is not the end of the world, even if you might feel that way sometimes. Granted you might have to reorganize you life somewhat, such as Michael J. Fox did by cutting back on his acting gigs, but you can learn to live with Parkinson's. The trick is accepting your limitations, and working around them - two tasks for which you will find this book most helpful. This book is helpful in another regard. At the end of the book you will find a list of resources that you can contact for more information about Parkinson's, current treatment methods, and support. By educating yourself about the disease, you are arming yourself with one of the major weapons you'll need to combat and live with Parkinson's Disease - Information!

This book is complimented by the inclusion of illustrations that help to explain some of the more complex issues discussed in the text. Overall, this book is written in plain, easy to understand language that clearly delineates the authors' message without talking down to the reader. I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages who are seeking a beginning text on Parkinson's Disease.

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