By Joel Havemann
"I'm flat on my again on a sofa that is too brief in a windowless room within the bureau. i will not even take a seat at a working laptop or computer, less make a keyboard paintings. My legs and arms are shaking uncontrollably. even if i'm simply fifty three years outdated, i've got already been being affected by Parkinson's affliction for seven years. And instantaneously the sickness is winning." So starts Joel Havemann's account of the insidious ailment that's Parkinson's. Into his personal tale, Havemann weaves obtainable reasons of ways Parkinson's disrupts the brain's circuitry, how signs are controlled via medications and surgical procedure, and the way humans take care of the disease's mental demanding situations. The paperback version brings the dialogue of treatment plans and study completely brand new.
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Extra resources for A Life Shaken: My Encounter with Parkinson's Disease
In a muddled way, I tried to sort out the available strategies. Religion wasn’t available to me. Despite having gone to church in my adolescent rebellion, I ultimately adopted my parents’ antipathy toward organized religion. Still, you don’t have to be religious to believe that life has some transcendent purpose, that we are all here for a reason. My personal philosophy is best expressed by the contemporary British zoologist Richard Dawkins, who argues that people (and all other living things) are machines to ensure the survival and reproduction of their genes.
It’s not as if you could fend o√ Parkinson’s by taking up smoking and mountain climbing and leaving your spouse. Rather, if you’re already inclined in these directions, you’re not so likely to develop Parkinson’s. What causes it? Researchers today are pretty conﬁdent that the culprits pointed to early on, including anxiety and exposure to the cold, were bogus. But some of the more recent hypotheses were just as goofy. In the ﬁrst half of the twentieth century, one school of thought held that Parkinson’s was a byproduct of the encephalitis epidemic that broke out worldwide after World War I.
By contrast, the brain can change its program—and constantly does. The brain amazes not only by what it does but by how. In the computer, the electrical impulses take the form of electrons traveling at nearly the speed of light. The pathways are microscopic electrical circuits etched onto silicon chips. Along the pathways are a host of branches in the road, controlled by switches. Whether the electrical impulse takes the left fork or the right fork depends on whether the switch is on or o√. In the brain, the process is far more complex.