The following are the recommendations of the P.R.A.G. Team:
“Mentored by a madman” by Andrew Lees
A fascinating account by one of the world’s leading neurologists of the profound influence of William Burroughs on his medical career. Lees relates how Burroughs, author of Naked Lunch and troubled drug addict, inspired him to discover a ground-breaking treatment for Parkinson’s Disease. Lees journeys to the Amazonian rainforest in search of cures, and through self-experimentation seeks to find the answers his patients crave. He enters a powerful plea for the return of imagination to medical research.
(All profits from the sale of this book go towards funding PD research)
“Brain storms” by Jon Palfreman
Award-winning journalist Jon Palfreman chronicles how scientists have worked to crack the mystery of what was once called the shaking palsy, from the earliest clinical descriptions of tremors, gait freezing, and micrographia to the cutting edge of neuroscience. He takes us back to the late 1950s and the discovery of L-dopa. He delves into a number of other therapeutic approaches to this perplexing condition, from partial lobotomies and deep brain stimulation to neural grafting.
With the baby boom generation beginning to retire and the population steadily aging, the race is on to discover a means to stop or reverse neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Brain Storms is the long-overdue, riveting, and deeply personal story of that race, and a passionate, insightful, and urgent look into the lives of those affected.
“Slender Threads” by Pete Langman
Slender Threads is author Pete Langman’s intensely personal investigation of how his diagnosis in 2008 affects his past, his present and his future. It is not a book for the faint-hearted, nor one for the Oprah generation, but for those who aren’t afraid to look past the platitudes and get to the heart of this disease. Thirty percent of the writer’s royalties of Slender Threads goes directly to Parkinson’s charities in the UK.
From Dr. Jon Stamford, “This is, by a significant margin, the best book on Parkinson’s I have ever read. Absolutely stark, brutally and uncomfortably honest. It is far from consoling, but is a tersely argued description of the human spirit under fire. Far more than the record of one young man’s journey into illness, Slender Threads raises, and attempts to answer, questions about who we are, how we know ourselves, and how far we can control our destiny.“
“Parkinson’s Treatment” by Michael Okun
Dr. Okun’s books and internet blog posts are brimming with up-to date and extremely practical information. He has a talent for infusing his readers with positivity and optimism. In his current book, he unmasks the important secrets applicable to every Parkinson’s disease patient. For some sufferers the secrets have translated into walking again, for others they have restored voices, and for many they have resulted in the lifting of depression, anxiety and desperation.
“There isn’t any joking with Dr. Okun about the 10 Secrets for a Happier Life in Parkinson’s disease. This book is a critical resource for Parkinson’s disease patients and families from around the world who speak different languages, but suffer from very similar and often disabling symptoms.” –Muhammad Ali
“Healing the Brain” by Curt Freed and Simon LeVay
In May 1995, neurologist Curt Freed began one of the most dramatic experiments in the history of medicine: an attempt to treat sufferers of Parkinson’s disease by grafting human stem cells into their brains.
Of the forty patients who volunteered for Freed’s new treatment, half underwent authentic surgery. The other half, who had received placebo surgery, felt their last hope dissolve into bitter frustration. But the hardest road lay ahead for those who had been given the highly experimental procedure. Healing the Brain captures the emotional events that unfolded in the months afterward as Freed, his researchers, and their courageous, desperate patients awaited the outcome and witnessed a moral debate unfolding across the nation over embryonic stem-cell medicine. Would the brain regenerate itself or reject the new cells? This pioneering team was willing to take perilous risks to find out.