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A surprising number of disorders defy treatment with prescribed pharmaceuticals: a man's hands shake so hard that he cant hold anything; a woman is mired in severe, inescapable depression; or a child falls into severe epileptic seizures. For these patients and others, an alternative treatment is emerging for when pharmaceuticals fail: deep brain stimulation. More than 30,000 people worldwide undergo this treatment each year, and with this volume, Jamie Talan and Richard Firstman explain this cutting-edge medical development that may hold the key to unlocking some of medicine's most bewildering mysteries.Deep brain stimulation primarily consists of implanting electrodes in the brain that are connected to a device similar to a pacemaker. Talan and Firstman describe the ways in which deep brain stimulation has produced promising results in the treatment of numerous diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, depression, and Tourette's syndrome. The book also features compelling profiles of patients who have been helped through the treatment, including a trauma patient, once barely conscious, who can w talk, walk, and eat on his own; and a young man whose obsessive-compulsive disorder had left him housebound, but who is w married and holding a steady job. In addition, the authors introduce us to the doctors and scientists who pursue their pioneering research and outline the possibilities that their most recent work holds for treating Alzheimer's and for stroke rehabilitation - as well as the ethical issues that have arisen in the course of their work.A fascinating and timely investigation, Deep Brain Stimulation reveals the exciting possibilities for restoring a richer life to the sufferers of diseases long thought to be incurable.
Jamie Talan has reported on neuroscience for Newsday for more than twenty years and is now a science-writer-in-residence at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. Richard Firstman is the author or coauthor of several books, including Men of Steel, Dr. Folkman's War, and the forthcoming A Criminal Injustice. Together Talan and Firstman coauthored The Death of Innocents, winner of the Edgar Award.