A Life Shaken: My Encounter with Parkinson's Disease by Joel Havemann

By Joel Havemann

"I'm flat on my again on a sofa that is too brief in a windowless room within the bureau. i cannot even sit down at a working laptop or computer, less make a keyboard paintings. My legs and arms are shaking uncontrollably. even though i'm in simple terms fifty three years outdated, i've got already been suffering from Parkinson's sickness for seven years. And immediately the sickness is winning." So starts Joel Havemann's account of the insidious sickness that's Parkinson's. Into his personal tale, Havemann weaves available motives of ways Parkinson's disrupts the brain's circuitry, how indicators are controlled via medications and surgical procedure, and the way humans take care of the disease's mental demanding situations. The paperback version brings the dialogue of treatments and examine completely brand new.

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Extra info for A Life Shaken: My Encounter with Parkinson's Disease

Example text

When I did, I discovered how remarkably little was known about Parkinson’s disease: no wonder Dr. DC had di≈culty diagnosing it. ≤ In general, medicine couldn’t do much for the injured and diseased. ’’≥ Surely the disease had existed long before Parkinson’s name became attached to it, although there is precious little evidence. Parkinson’s is predominantly a disease of the elderly, and until the twentieth century, most people died of something else before being a∆icted with Parkinson’s. But there were some apparent exceptions.

Chapter three The Magnificent Brain If the human brain were so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple that we couldn’t. —Emerson M. Pugh, engineer On November 22, 1963, the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, I was a junior at Harvard, his alma mater. The news stopped campus life cold. Students mourned, they grieved, they got drunk. I went immediately to the o≈ces of the Crimson, the student newspaper. Some of us generally devoted more time to the Crimson than to classes, and we knew immediately what to do: put out an extra edition.

It seems to me that an increasing proportion of new Parkinson’s patients are younger than 50, as I was. But this is probably because it is the young patients, with much of their lives still ahead of them, who make the most noise demanding more work on a cure. Experts with a wider range of experience than I say that about 5 percent of all people with Parkinson’s feel their first symptoms before the age of 40 and that the median age of onset is about 60, statistics that have been constant for many years.

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