Author: William J. Weiner, M.D. Lisa M. Shulman, M.D. Anthony E. Lang, M.D., F.R.C.P
ISBN: 10: 0-8018-8546-9: 13: 978-0-8018-8546-4
Publisher: The John Hopkins University Press

Parkinson's disease also known as PD is a degenerative neurological disorder of the central nervous system that often impairs the sufferer's motor skills, speech, and other functions. It was named after the English Physician James Parkinson, who first described the illness in a paper he wrote in 1917 entitled “Essay on the Shaking Palsy” and even today we still refer to it as the “shaking palsy.” It is estimated that over one million people in the USA have Parkinson's Disease and the numbers are growing each year.

It has been five years since the first edition of Parkinson's Disease: A Complete Guide For Patients & Families first appeared. As we are informed in the Preface of the second edition, much progress has been made in the management and treatment of PD. These important developments include a greater understanding of the fundamental causes of the disease, the role of genes and heredity in the disease, advances in the role of surgery as a treatment, and the introduction of new drugs to treat the symptoms. Increased research on disease-modifying or neuroprotective therapies that may slow the disease's progression has also been undertaken. All of these new avenues are discussed in the second edition in addition to who gets PD, signs and symptoms, diagnosing PD, treatment and other issues as illness, hospitalization, and present research. There is also considerable ink devoted to many nonmotor symptoms connected to PD that may occur, including depression, apathy, anxiety, sweating, sexual dysfunction, problems of memory, sleep problems, bladder problems, and constipation.There is an entire section devoted to questions and answers as well as a list of resources and a comprehensive index.

The book's organization is tidy without being overwhelming and each page manages to pack in a wealth of information in a focused manner. The tone is conversational and the many topics explored are extremely beneficial to anyone who has PD or is taking care of someone who has this illness. Every chapter begins with a summary in bold type of the topics to be discussed. The issue of how to explain unfamiliar terms and concepts to the layman is always vexing. However, the authors effectively overcome this problem by explaining terms in the text itself rather than have readers look to a glossary of terms or elsewhere. Moreover, the use of images, tables and diagrams throughout this comprehensive book are highly appropriate and add interest and greatly simplify the understanding of the symptoms of PD and its management.

William J. Weiner, M.D., is the director of the Maryland Parkinson's Disease Center and professor and chairman of the Department of Neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.He has authored many books and papers on PD. Lisa M. Shulman, M.D., is a professor of neurology at the University of Maryland. Anthony F. Lang, M.D., is a professor of neurology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Lang is the director of the Morton and Glorida Shulman Movement Disorders Center at the Toronto Western Hospital.

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