Some people with Parkinson's Disease find they can't speak very well while others lose the ability to write or control a knife and fork. Some get treated like children while others are ignored. Many manage their disease for years and continue to live extremely fruitful and fulfilling lives. But it's always there, in the back of one's mind. How long will I keep this up? Over 120,000 people in the UK have Parkinson's Disease, and this figure is rising. It can strike very early in life, as with the actor Michael J. Fox, or much later. It is a progressive, neurological disorder, treated mainly with drug therapy but also alleviated with physical therapy and diet. Although each person with Parkinson's is different, and the ability to perform movements may differ from one day to the next, Parkinson's has a dramatic effect on a person's quality of life and also affects those around the sufferers. This is a compassionate and helpful guide to the disease and its treatments. The good news is that Parkinson's can be controlled very effectively for many years with the right treatment and care. This definitive handbook allows you to ask all the right questions and to understand the disease so that the answer to the question above is, 'as long as possible'.
Dr Harvey Sagar is Professor and Head of Department of Clinical Neurology at the University of Sheffield, and Honorary Consultant of Neurology at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield. He is a member of the Council of Management and the Medical Advisory Panel of the Parkinson's Disease Society.