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Book Review: The A - Z of PD Treatments

Parkinson's is a complicated disease, and to help meet the challenge of treating it optimally, the Mayo Clinic's J. Eric Ahlskog, M.D., Ph.D., has written a guide called The Parkinson's Disease Treatment Book: Partnering with Your Doctor to Get the Most from Your Medications.

This 532 page reference guide covers subjects in a logical, sequential order starting with a basic lesson on brain anatomy and an explanation of what happens in the brain when a person has Parkinson's. This resource also includes a review of Parkinson's treatments, the rationale for each drug and the recommended dosages. Dr. Ahlskog includes an especially helpful review of the effects of the disease on such aspects of living as posture, gait, mood, voice and handwriting. Following this run-down is a concise discussion of often-overlooked non-movement symptoms of Parkinson's such as confusion, fatigue and insomnia. Readers may also find it reassuring to learn that problems they had not previously associated with their Parkinson's - such as urinary troubles, blood pressure issues and weakness - may in fact be related to it.

Especially useful are the suggestions on how patients should be precise and clear when describing symptoms to their physicians; Dr. Ahlskog emphasizes that this will help doctors to interpret symptoms correctly and to recommend the most appropriate treatment regimen.

Dr. Ahlskog's experience, thoroughness and understanding of patient concerns make this book one of the most comprehensive manuals that has been written for a person with Parkinson's disease. It offers a wealth of information on treatment options, as well as an explanation of the value of the doctor-patient "team approach" to treating Parkinson's. The Parkinson's Disease Treatment Book is available at www.amazon.com for under $25.