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Book Review

Parkinson's: It's a Family Affair

Being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (PD) can be a huge shock to the system, both for a person who has PD and for his or her family and friends. At PDF, we recently developed a free video/print package for the newly-diagnosed person, called Diagnosis Parkinson's disease: You are not alone. These materials are designed to provide some comfort and encouragement after hearing the unwelcome news. To complement this resource and to help loved ones learn about the disease and accept the diagnosis, take a look at "Parkinson's Disease and the Family: A New Guide," a book written by Nutan Sharma, M.D. and Elaine Richman, Ph.D.

This quick read promotes a healthy family approach to living with Parkinson's disease. It reminds us that few things help us manage a difficult life challenge better than a strong support system of family and friends. The book starts with an overview of Parkinson's and moves gradually into the discussion of more advanced issues such as dementia and the challenge of planning for the long term. These late sections may raise the anxiety of some readers. Remember that Parkinson's affects people differently, and by no means will all people experience all the potential symptoms of Parkinson's.

Some of the book's best features are the personal stories that detail the real-life experiences of a person who lives with Parkinson's disease. From these personal stories the authors have compiled tactics and tips to prepare the reader and show them how to handle certain situations, such as freezing, depression and challenges with treatment if and when they occur.

If you are a family member or loved one of a person who has Parkinson's disease, pick up this book, read it and hold on to it. To purchase "Parkinson's Disease and the Family," visit any major bookstore or buy it on for $10.85.