At the ""uncommonly early"" age of 36, Dorros experienced the first symptom of the nervous system disease, parkinsonianism,...


PARKINSON'S: A Patient's View

At the ""uncommonly early"" age of 36, Dorros experienced the first symptom of the nervous system disease, parkinsonianism, which would eventually cause his disablement and early retirement. His story of the progress of the disease--and how he and his family coped--is of particular interest because he was treated principally at the National Institutes of Health; thus, he was among the first patients to encounter the three major advances in treatment of Parkinson's disease: cryosurgery of the brain, and the drugs L-Dopa and bromocriptine. Dorros describes his background as practically workaholic--a teacher and N.E.A. aide, he worked long, intense hours and did much traveling; later he came to wonder if this was a factor in the development of his disease. Very knowledgeable about parkiusonianism, he describes--openly and fully--how he learned to juggle the effects of over- vs. under-medication until he found the delicate balance, ""staying on the brink."" Since this process involved adapting daily activities--from cooking, typing, and speaking on the phone, to using the bathroom and sex--Dorros' discussions and guidelines are invaluable. He also puts across the intertwining of physical manifestations and emotional mood swings which makes parkinsonlanism such a difficult disease: ""three times it has reduced me to almost complete incapacitation and abject depression, and three times I've experienced dramatic rescues by modern medicine."" (One was cryosurgery--as developed by I. S. Cooper and described in The Vital Probe, p. 1049; Dorros' vantage point is enlightening.) Now, Dorros has ""accommodated"" to his disease--the attitude he recommends over ""surrender."" For further information, he lists organizations and written sources; his strength is in sharing the approach and methods he used in coming to grips with a seriously disabling disease.

Pub Date: Nov. 20, 1981


Page Count: -

Publisher: Seven Locks Press (P.O. Box 72, Cabin John, MD 20818)

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1981