Authors: Anne Cutter Mikkelsen with Carolyn Stinson

ISBN: 978-0-9823219-3-5

Publisher: DiaMedica Publishing

Click Here To Purchase Take Charge of Parkinson's Disease: Dynamic Lifestyle Changes to Put YOU in the Driver's Seat (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

Combining her two passions in her life, an interest in Parkinson's disease and eating the proper foods, Anne Cutter Mikkelsen with Carolyn Stinson has put together an excellent tome that provides PD patients, as well as their caregivers, with an assortment of tools that will aid in improving their self-care. Written in straight forward language, Mikkelsen,  with the writing help of Carolyn Stinson, shares her vast experience she has accumulated first with her mother and then her husband, both victims of PD. The emphasis is placed on adapting a positive attitude, eating healthy food and forming meaningful relationships. As the preface to one of the chapters succinctly sums up: “The key to success in living with Parkinson's disease is implementing an entire lifestyle approach that includes good nutrition, exercise, stress management, and using the lowest effective doses of medications.”

Beginning with a brief introduction as to what is Parkinson's and a general overview of its causes, signs, treatments and the future, Mikkelsen and Stinson move quickly covering an expanse of ground as they divide the book into two parts, the first of which describes Mikkelsen's personal story and that of her artist husband Mike's coping with PD from 1993, when he was diagnosed with it. We learn how Mike, an award winning potter and sculptor, has skillfully adapted his art to accommodate his advancing stages of PD.  Within this section we read about such matters as healthy coping strategies, exercise, neuroprotection, where we learn about exercises to protect dopamine-producing nerve cells, benefits of art, when a spouse becomes a caregiver, and changing the culinary repertoire.

The second extensive section, and one that you don't often come across in books of a similar nature, delve into the importance of brain healthy fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs and optimal wellness with PD. It is here where we discover  free radicals and antioxidants as well as the benefits of several foods as salmon, and it is also here where Mikkelsen provides her readers with dozens of delectable and aromatic recipes illustrating the important of how we eat, which may be almost as important as what we eat. As mentioned on the back cover of the book: “Motivated by her husband Mike’s PD, Anne Mikkelsen developed a cooking style that blends her training in traditional French cooking and love of plants with emerging science on the importance of brain-healthy fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs.

Many chapters are prefaced with short philosophical musings such as: “Denial of early symptoms can cause unnecessary anxiety. There is no need to suffer in silence.” Another insightful one is: “A healthy lifestyle requires flexibility and a willingness to adapt-sometimes on short notice.”

The real strength and one of the principal assets of Take Charge of Parkinson's Disease is its compassionate approach to a disease where at the present moment there is no cure. It also serves as a great introduction to how PD patients will feel better using self-care tools rather than relying solely on traditional clinical care and medications that only treat the PD symptoms.  

Click Here To Purchase Take Charge of Parkinson's Disease: Dynamic Lifestyle Changes to Put YOU in the Driver's Seat (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)