New Children’s Book, Poppo’s Electric Brain, Helps Take the Fear Factor Out of Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery for Parkinson’s Disease

April 16, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Mo., April 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — When Jack McDonald elected to have Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery after more than a decade of watching his tremors and other symptoms get progressively worse, he saw it as a teachable moment for his grandchildren. Their reactions to his brain surgery experience were the inspiration for Poppo’s Electric Brain, an educational new children’s book that makes Parkinson’s disease and DBS more understandable for young people. More information about the book, including a video trailer, is available at http://popposelectricbrain.com/. Poppo’s Electric Brain is currently for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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Poppo’s Electric Brain is an inside look at how DBS surgery affects the entire family. Although DBS is not a cure for Parkinson’s, it has made a remarkable difference in the quality of life for McDonald and his family. Now, a year after surgery, the wiggling and shaking that once ruled his life is gone and his medications have been reduced by two thirds.

Feedback on McDonald’s book has been highly positive, especially from within the medical community. Rajesh Pahwa, director of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center, remarked that Poppo’s Electric Brain “will help to relieve the fears associated with a loved one undergoing brain surgery. This book should be read by all families that have children who are trying to understand DBS.”

Parkinson’s disease is one of several related diseases that affect the central nervous system. About 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with the disease each year. Parkinson’s disease has no cure, and there’s no test or screening that can detect it early. Doctors have developed a variety of drug treatments that can ease symptoms, but not without added side effects. Today, Deep Brain Stimulation is among the most promising treatment options, as it both reduces symptoms and lessens the need for drugs.

McDonald’s first foray into children’s book publishing likely won’t be his last. He plans to release more books discussing the latest advances in Parkinson’s disease research, the goal being to help families and children better understand the disease and its treatment options.

About the Author

When Jack McDonald was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2001, brain surgery was the furthest thing from his mind. But as the years progressed, his symptoms became more disruptive, eventually forcing him to sell his graphic design business. Going out to the movies or to dinner with his wife, Gilda, became an ordeal. In 2012, McDonald’s neurologist suggested Deep Brain Stimulation surgery, or DBS for short.

At first McDonald thought it was unnecessary. Brain surgery is not something you casually say “yes” to. Then he realized that it was an easy decision: he could go on shaking, wiggling, and feeling crummy, or he could do something about it. McDonald underwent the life-changing surgery in 2013.

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Source: PR Newswire

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