Educating the Educator About Parkinson’s

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Mahatma Gandhi

As a scientist and medical educator,  I read a lot for work (papers, reviews, chapters, books). There are 100’s of books and 1000’s of papers written about Parkinson’s Disease (PD or Parkinson’s), so where did I begin my education about Parkinson’s and what did I read?  Let me qualify this by saying I read a lot more then I’m describing below; however,  there is no reason to publicly criticize an author’s work on PD, just won’t do it.

Neurologist’s Office: Left with 2 publications from the National Parkinson Foundation- (1) Parkinson Disease: What You and Your Family Should Know; and (2) Parkinson Disease: Speech and Swallowing.  Both pamphlets were informative, well-written and with good-intentions.  I learned a lot.

From my Office/Computer (medical textbooks):  My research is in Hematology, yes, I study blood diseases (specifically, how your blood clots); thus, I have many textbooks (print and virtual). I read the chapters on Parkinson’s in 3 important resources: (1) Harrison’s principles of internal medicine; (2) Robbins basic pathology, and (3) UpToDate.  Although I read about diseases all the time, I had never read about Parkinson’s and then had to apply it to me. I should point out that each resource was well-written, well-described and very clinical in scope. In all honesty after reading this material, I shuddered in fear, and needed more reassuring reading to educate my mind and to calm my racing heart.

Books that made a huge difference to my understanding of Parkinson’s.  Each of the books below had outstanding support for those with Parkinson’s.  These authors had a wonderful way of presenting/describing Parkinson’s and the various available therapies.  Each book provided guidance for others helping and caring for those of us with PD (caretakers, family, friends, co-workers).  And these books were written with a voice that made me truly admire the author(s) because they so cared for people with Parkinson’s.

(1)  Navigating Life with Parkinson Disease (Neurology Now Books) by Sotirios Parashos (Author), Rose Wichmann (Author), Todd Melby (Contributor)

(2)  What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About(TM): Parkinson’s Disease: A Holistic Program for Optimal Wellness by Mary J. Shomon (Author), Jill Marjama-Lyons (Author)

(3)  Delay the Disease -Exercise and Parkinson’s Disease (Book) Spiral-bound – by David Zid (Author), Jackie Russell (Editor), RN (Editor), BSN (Editor), CNOR (Editor), Photography – Joanne Adams (Illustrator), BFA (Illustrator), CMI (Illustrator)

(4)  Parkinson’s Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier Life: English Edition Paperback – by Michael S Okun MD (Author)

(5)  Parkinson’s Disease For Dummies  – by Michele Tagliati (Author), Gary Guten (Author), Jo Horne (Author)

In summary, each of these books encouraged me about my understanding of Parkinson’s.  These books brought Parkinson’s out in the open about the future, and they gave me a sound foundation for potential therapy.  And most importantly, they gave me a positive feeling of hope for the rest of my life with Parkinson’s.  Finally, you may have a different list of Parkinson’s books that both educated you and bolstered your spirits.  Reading about and enhancing our understanding of Parkinson’s is a good thing.

*Cover photo credit:

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