Science Journalist Publishes “Brain Storms” on Parkinson’s Disease and His Own Journey as a Patient

Ana de Barros, PhD avatar

by Ana de Barros, PhD |

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Four years ago, in 2011, science journalist Jon Palfreman went to see his physician about the tremors he had been experiencing in his left hand. It was then, at 60 years of age, that Jon found out he already had Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that causes a gradual loss of mobility, hand tremors, dementia, and other symptoms that can severely affect quality of life. To learn more about his condition and today’s available treatments, he employed his skills and resources as a journalist and published a book on the disease, titled, Brain Stormswhich is available on Amazon.

In this book, Jon recounts Parkinson’s origin and evolution as a disease, starting from the observations of physicians in the 19th century to what is now known today. He writes out complex research on Parkinson’s disease to read like engrossing medical mysteries, making it easier for readers to understand the whole process of the brain’s dopamine deficiency, and how protein knots called Lewy bodies serve as hallmarks of the disease.

Jon’s book also tackles past and present treatments, including frequently prescribed levodopa for motion restoration, gene therapies, neurosurgery, and highly promising antibody treatments that specifically target and help eliminate the misfolded proteins linked to Parkinson’s disease.

Jon’s Brain Storms is well worth checking out, whether you are a new or old patient, a significant other of someone with Parkinson’s disease, or simply a curious reader, as the book is as much about the science of the disease as it is about the brave people living with it. In his work, Jon recounts stories of patients who have had to relearn how to walk without falling over or freezing in place, and highlights a specific story about a researcher who began his search for a cure after his own father was diagnosed with the malignancy.

Jon also writes about his own journey as a patient, and does so with captivating candor, curiosity, and inspiring hope that today’s scientists are well on their way to find a cure. Finding a cure is “everyone’s business,” Jon writes. Sixteen percent of the world’s population will be older than 65 by 2050, putting them at risk for age-related diseases such as Parkinson’s. As Palfreman writes, “There’s no time to waste.”

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