Brain Storms: The Race to Unlock the Mysteries of Parkinson’s Disease

Jon Palfreman. FSG/Scientific American, $26 (288p) ISBN 978-0-374-11617-0
Award-winning journalist Palfreman’s fast-paced, captivating, and crisp narrative of patients, doctors, and researchers is part scientific investigation, part medical detective story, and part memoir, and it opens wide a window into the world of Parkinson’s. He introduces readers to James Parkinson, who in 1817 offered the first clinical description of the disease; Jean-Martin Charcot, who accurately described the signs and symptoms of what appeared to be a movement disorder; Constantin Tretiakoff, who demonstrated that the disease was caused by damage to the substantia nigra portion of the brain; and Frederick Lewy, who discovered the pathological hallmarks of Parkinson’s. Palfreman, who was diagnosed with the disease during his research, investigates drug therapies, such as the routine L-dopa therapy initiated in the 1960s and still used frequently today, and experimental drugs such as NPT088, which has yet to be approved by the FDA. There are more than seven million Parkinson’s sufferers worldwide and Palfreman shares some of their stories, including that of dancer Pam Quinn, who has learned to “trick” her symptoms and teaches her methods to other Parkinson’s patients. He reminds readers that a diagnosis of Parkinson’s is a life sentence, but Palfreman remains optimistic about what new discoveries may be able to offer Parkinson’s patients. Agent: Kneerim, Williams, & Bloom. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/06/2015
Release date: 09/15/2015
MP3 CD - 978-1-5113-5783-8
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-374-53659-6
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4434-3058-6
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-4434-3057-9
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-4434-3056-2
Ebook - 978-0-374-71185-6
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