Rebirth from Parkinson's Disease With Deep Brain Stimulation

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A new book by Sally Hunter, published in February 2012, is entitled You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down: From Parkinson's to a New Life with Deep Brain Stimulation. It shows how a successful bank manager and builder was brought low by Parkinson's Disease, and then regained his life with Deep Brain Stimulation (D.B.S.). Sally’s business in Environmental Writing has done extensive research into both the science and narrative behind these issues.

Sally Hunter shows how, by staying awake during surgery on his brain, Geoff Sykes recently regained some measure of normality, instead of severe Parkinson's Disease.

Geoff Sykes may have contracted Parkinson's from contact with a lead arsenate based sheep dip, on the farm, as a child. The sheep dunked him in the poisonous solution several times.

Scientists implicate pesticides as a cause of Parkinson's because people who as children lived in areas where pesticides were sprayed, contract the illness more often than other people . People who live in rural areas also contract the illness earlier.

Heavy metals also cause neurological degeneration that mimics Parkinson's. They act in the brain in the same way as the known causative pathways of Parkinson's Disease. The connection here has not yet been proved, and more research need to be done on it.

As he grew up, Geoff was a larrikin, but rose to become a senior bank manager, and later a builder. In middle age, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.

Eight years later he could barely cope. With his doctors, he was juggling his medication to try and feel OK. He had a mask-like face, lack of co-ordination of his body, dribbling from a corner of his mouth and involuntary writhing and twisting movements.

In desperation, and determination to get better, he accepted the offer of D.B.S. surgery. This involved staying awake while electrodes were inserted into his brain, so he could give feedback to the doctors. The electrodes were then attached to a stimulator, which is like a brain pacemaker.

When Geoff’s stimulator was switched on, his writhing and twisting movements stopped, he stood tall and was able to walk down the passage. Over time, although he had some side effects of the operation, to all intents and purposes he appeared normal.

There was great jubilation about Geoff’s new start due to Deep Brain Stimulation. He said he was “as fit as a mallee bull”.

Sally Hunter’s website,, gives details of this book about Geoff’s journey. Commentators have described the book as wonderful, and it has been respectfully and beautifully written.

The website also gives more details about Sally, herself, and her other publications. She has a business in Environmental Writing, but does other kinds of writing as well.

Sally Hunter’s book is entitled You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down: From Parkinson's to a New Life with Deep Brain Stimulation. It discusses Parkinson's Disease and the last resort surgery, Deep Brain Stimulation, which can turn a sufferer’s life around. It is a biography of Geoff Sykes.

Sally Hunter has a science degree in biology and a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies. Her business in Environmental Writing also does other kinds of writing as well.

Sally Hunter, Environmental Writing, phone 618 8370 0365,, sally(dot)hunter(at)internode(dot)on(dot)net

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