Minneapolis, MN (PRWEB) November 23, 2005
According to the Parkinson's Action Network, a new case of Parkinson's disease (PD) is diagnosed every nine minutes. This means that there are thousands of people who can benefit from reading Jackie Hunt Christensen's new book, The First Year® Parkinson's Disease, An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed, released by Marlowe and Company in October.
Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease caused by depletion of dopamine, a chemical in the brain that helps to regulate movement. This loss of dopamine can result in a host of symptoms, including tremors, muscle rigidity, slowness of movement and poor balance. At least one million Americans have been diagnosed with PD. The average age of onset is 55, although 15 percent or more are diagnosed before age 40.
"I did my best to avoid "sugar-coating" tough issues, because in the long run, that doesn't help anyone," said author Jackie Hunt Christensen, "However, I didn't want to make people think that Parkinson's is a death sentence, because it's not. I have so many blessings in my life now that I never had before I developed PD."
The First Year® Parkinson's Disease contains information about a variety of topics such as symptoms that might be experienced; tests that a doctor might administer; theories about the roles of genetics and environmental factors in causation of the disease; medications and other treatment; exercise; nutrition, and alternative therapies.
"The concept of time as it relates to Parkinson's is arbitrary because a person has PD long before he or she notices the symptoms, and even then, getting diagnosed may take awhile," noted Hunt Christensen, who was diagnosed in 1998 at the age of 34—eighteen months after she first noticed signs of a problem. "For these reasons, as well as the wide age range of people with PD, I covered issues that may be relevant well beyond the first year."
The book includes sections on many other aspects of the disease (e.g., depression; telling friends and family; financial planning; and workplace issues) that might not come to mind immediately but which can be important for coping with PD.
Jackie Hunt Christensen lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two sons. She worked on environmental health issues for more than 15 years and most recently served as co-director of the Food and Health Program at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. She stepped down from that position in 2004 because of PD. She is involved with Collaborative on Health and the Environment's Working Group on PD and the Environment, the Parkinson's Action Network and the Parkinson Association of Minnesota. She has had articles published in a variety of publications, including Mothering, Minnesota Parent, Minnesota Healthcare News and The Workbook. This is her first book.
The First Year® Parkinson's Disease
By Jackie Hunt Christensen (Foreword by Paul J. Tuite, MD)
Marlowe & Company (October 2005)