An eye-opener for anyone concerned about concussion—which the authors persuasively argue should include everyone.

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Conquering Concussion

HEALING TBI SYMPTOMS WITH NEUROFEEDBACK AND WITHOUT DRUGS

Powerful advocacy for an emerging therapy.

Esty, a seasoned neurofeedback practitioner, and Shifflett (Migraine Brains and Bodies, 2011, etc.), a science and technology writer, argue that public ignorance and medical dogma plague the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injuries (used synonymously with concussion). In this primer, aimed at both lay readers and professionals, they deliver a searing indictment of the status quo and an impassioned plea for a new paradigm. The authors hook readers by opening with stories about concussion’s impact on famous figures, including Henry VIII, Mary Lincoln, Howard Hughes and Elvis Presley. This eases the transition to Esty’s client histories (using pseudonyms), which are woven throughout chapters that cover what happens physiologically during and after TBI and its manifold physical, psychological, emotional and social consequences. Their experiences personalize discussions about the frequency of misdiagnoses, overreliance on pharmaceuticals, the efficacy of neurofeedback to treat TBI and its role in conjunction with other therapies. Esty and Shifflett catalog the abundant chances for brain injury in modern life, particularly in sports, and dispel popular myths that lead to downplaying risks and tolerating repeated exposures. Citing evidence suggesting that frequent smaller injuries are as dangerous as large ones, they document how neurofeedback has brought relief even decades later, helping sufferers reduce or eliminate medications. While neurofeedback results seem miraculous, the authors avoid cure-all claims by discussing unresolved symptoms and physical distortions that brain wave treatment cannot fix. They acknowledge that science cannot yet explain why neurofeedback works—a valid source of skepticism. Critics may question whether the authors have cherry-picked examples to support their case, but the successes provided, often in clients’ own words, speak for themselves. The text is written clearly enough to engage lay readers while still providing the thoroughness and documentation demanded by professionals. They cite more than 300 references, mainly scientific journals and academic books, but they also draw from popular media to keep the discussion relevant and down-to-earth. Clear figures, photos and illustrations; a glossary; and a list of supplemental resources make the book even more user-friendly.

An eye-opener for anyone concerned about concussion—which the authors persuasively argue should include everyone.

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-0965342506

Page Count: 310

Publisher: Round Earth Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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Authoritative and, most helpfully, accessible.

HEALING OUR VILLAGE

A SELF-CARE GUIDE TO DIABETES CONTROL

Self-help guide for diabetes sufferers, mostly in question-and-answer format, with an emphasis on helping racial and ethnic minority diabetics.

Coleman is a pharmacist with a doctorate in her specialty, Gavin a Ph.D. and M.D. Aside from acknowledgments and a foreword signed by Gavin alone, their voices and expertise are indistinguishable, offering lucid, simple solutions for diabetes patients. Gavin relates watching his great-grandmother endure debilitating pain as a result of diabetes while he visited her as a youngster. He remembers hearing adults mention that sugar killed her, and he wondered how something that tasted sweet could cause so much harm. As an adult, he realized that his great-grandmother's affliction could be controlled through treatment. The authors focus on Type 2 diabetes, the most common form in minority populations. An estimated 18.2 million Americans are diabetic, with perhaps 5 million unaware of their situation. About 11 percent of U.S. diabetics are African-American, and about 8 percent are Latino. The question-and-answer format begins with an overview section about diabetes, with an emphasis on risk factors. Section Two covers management of the disease, including nutrition, exercise, blood-testing, oral medications and insulin use. In addition, the authors continually recommend smoking cessation, as well as instructing patients on the readiness of self-treatment. Section Three explains the complications—high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease—that could arise if the condition remains untreated or treated ineffectively. The questions in all of the sections are worded simply, and the answers are usually free of medical jargon. Though the sudden shifts in tone and voice are occasionally jarring, the writing remains clear enough to distill the facts. The real downside here, though: patronizing, laughable illustrations that degrade the overall product.

Authoritative and, most helpfully, accessible.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2004

ISBN: 0-9746948-0-0

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 27, 2010

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There's a clear and intelligent gadfly at work here, offering much food for thought through his outrage.

CANCER-GATE

HOW TO WIN THE LOSING CANCER WAR

An astute—and sadly revealing—collection of articles from the past 15 years covering a wide number of topics related to the state of cancer research in the United States.

While it's true that Epstein—a physician and professor of occupational and environmental medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine—is clearly distressed by the current situation regarding our nation's approach to seeking cures and causes of cancer, this is far from a screed or conspiracy theory. He and a small number of contributors explain clearly why they feel the cancer fight has been stymied from the beginning. Epstein suggests the elimination of two impediments immediately: blaming the victim and putting the emphasis on diagnosis and treatment instead of prevention. He further suggests that there ought to be a distance between research institutions and those who fund the research. Since that likely means state intervention, he would like to see that ideologically biased individuals are not put in positions of power, dispersing funds (as happened under the Reagan administration, with its closed-door sessions with industry executives); too often the economic and political strings are held by those with a conflict of interest, such as the makers of products with suspicions of carcinogenic properties, or those with a vested interest in selling drugs to cancer patients. He also suggests that groups like the American Cancer Society stop spending three-quarters of their massive annual outlay on administrative costs, and start working more closely with environmental and occupational groups. Finally, he addresses the potential threats from pre-menopausal mammography, and the food industry's use of growth hormones.

There's a clear and intelligent gadfly at work here, offering much food for thought through his outrage.

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2005

ISBN: 0-89503-310-0

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

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