Journal of Neuroscience Nursing:
Reviewed by Jennifer Woods, MSN CCNS CNRN, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Neurology & Neuroscience Associates, Akron, OH.
“Take Charge of Parkinson’s Disease,” authored by the wife of a Parkinson disease (PD) patient, not only provides a brief overview of the disease but concentrates on the effects of the disease on the patient and the family and their means of coping with the illness, more specifically, diet and exercise. The book itself is geared toward the lay person and those afflicted with PD; however, the content is perfectly appropriate for the healthcare practitioner involved in the treatment of PD, particularly in terms of dietary counseling.
The foreword, authored by William L. Bell, Former Executive Director of the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation, emphasizes the author’s ability to merge the challenges of PD with wellness in the sense of diet and exercise. Following is a preface by the author detailing the content of book and acknowledging the contributions of Carolyn Stinson to include her research in regards to PD and the work of Nanette J. Davis, PhD, in regards to being a caregiver.
The content of the book is composed of two parts. “Part I: Passion, Risk, Reward: Our Story” details the journey of a PD patient and his wife from diagnosis through disability. Mrs. Mikkelsen describes the challenges of living with a PD patient, transitioning to a caregiver role, and making sacrifices to support and meet his needs including resigning from employment and moving to a different state for better climate. Furthermore, she describes utilizing her culinary talents to maintain a brain-healthy diet for her husband. More importantly, she describes how her husband has adapted his talents as an artist to the challenges of his PD symptoms. “Part II: Food and Optimal Wellness with Parkinson Disease” goes in-depth regarding the brain-healthy diet, even providing specific recipes to fulfill the criteria of the diet.
At the conclusion, the author includes a selection of resources to include books relating to PD, organizational Web sites, dietary and exercise information, and caregiving. In addition, an index is included for quick reference to topics within the content of the book.
Because many patients turn to alternative means to treat their illness, this book provides succinct insight into simple dietary changes that can make a difference in the treatment of PD. All in all, I would not hesitate to recommend the title to a patient looking for that alternative/supplemental means of treating his or her illness.