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Parkinson’s disease directly affects as many as one million Americans, according to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. When you consider their families, friends, and colleagues, the number of people truly touched by this disease is remarkable.
Whether you’re facing a Parkinson’s diagnosis or supporting someone living with the disease, education and community are key. Understanding the disease and what people living with Parkinson’s go through is a crucial first step in lending useful support. The following list of books is a perfect resource for those directly affected by the disease or even just those curious about it.
Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2004, lawyer John Vine learned a lot in the months and years following. He decided to share his experience with other people in his shoes and their families. The result is “A Parkinson’s Primer,” a book that’s received stellar reviews from people like Eric Holder, the former U.S. Attorney General, and ABC News and NPR political commentator, Cokie Roberts.
Parkinson’s disease is a disease of movement, so it makes sense that treatment can be found in mobile therapies. “Goodbye Parkinson’s, Hello Life!” by Alex Kerten gives people with Parkinson’s and their families some new potential solutions for relief. The book combines martial arts, dance, and behavior modification, and even comes recommended by the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
Dr. Michael S. Okun is a known and widely acclaimed Parkinson’s disease specialist. In “Parkinson’s Treatment,” the doctor explains all of the available treatments and reasons to be hopeful for people living with Parkinson’s and their families. He explains the science behind cutting-edge treatments in a way that doesn’t require a medical degree to understand. He also spends considerable time discussing the mental health aspects of the disease, often overlooked by the population at large.
Alice Lazzarini, PhD, was a widely recognized neurologist specializing in research of neurodegenerative disorders when she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. She researched the disease both before and after her diagnosis, and shares her scientific and deeply personal experiences with readers in “Both Sides Now.” Interestingly, she ties it all into her fear of birds and the subsequent discovery that her research uncovered a gene responsible for one type of bird’s song learning.
“Brain Storms” is the story of a journalist diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Jon Palfreman researches and delivers the topic in a compelling, journalistic way, giving readers insights into the history and future of Parkinson’s research and treatments. He also shares numerous inspirational stories of folks living with the disease.
Sometimes, we just want answers. We want step-by-step guidance to help us through life’s rough patches. “Parkinson’s Disease: 300 Tips for Making Life Easier” takes this actionable approach to living with Parkinson’s.
Perhaps one of the most well-known people living with Parkinson’s disease, Michael J. Fox is a famous actor — and now author. He wrote “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future” to share his experiences following his diagnosis. From child star to famous adult actor, and finally to activist and scholar of Parkinson’s disease, Fox’s volume is the perfect gift for graduates and people setting out to achieve greatness.
Karl Robb was once a skeptic of alternative medicine and holistic treatments, until he was confronted with his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. Now a Reiki master, his mind, body, and spirit approach to healing and daily life is shared in “A Soft Voice in a Noisy World.” Based on the writings from his blog by the same name, Robb shares his insights and inspirations in this healing book.
“Alter Your Course” gives readers insight into how to use their Parkinson’s diagnosis for good. The writers, Dr. Monique L. Giroux and Sierra M. Farris, outline how to use the early days of living with Parkinson’s to chart a new course for a happy and healthy life. You won’t only learn about medications and navigating the healthcare system, but how your emotional well-being, lifestyle, and other cutting-edge therapies can help.
Movement and exercise therapy are important aspects of Parkinson’s disease treatment. In “Delay the Disease,” personal trainer David Zid joins forces with Dr. Thomas H. Mallory and Jackie Russell, RN, to bring readers medically sound advice on using fitness to help cope with the disease. There are photos of each movement as well as clear directions on when and how to use the program for optimal results.
Dr. J. Eric Ahlskog of the Mayo Clinic is a leading authority on Parkinson’s disease and offers readers a unique perspective on navigating the medical system with a Parkinson’s diagnosis. In the pages of “The New Parkinson’s Disease Treatment Book,” people with Parkinson’s and their loved ones can learn to better work with their medical team for optimal treatment results. The goal of this volume is to educate people so they can get better results. Although he’s a wise academic, Dr. Ahlskog manages to achieve this goal without confusing or dry writing.