Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Novelist Martin Cruz Smith Reveals his Parkinson's disease

Author of Gorky Park and numerous other Russian spy novels has been hiding his Parkinson's disease from the public for 18 years. His wife has become his typist and assistant since he could no longer type, due to tremors in his hands.

Finally, Cruz opted for a Deep Brain Stimulator (DBS) implant in his brain, installed at UCSF Medical Center, and has gone public. Yesterday there were several stories about him and PD on NPR, NY Times and other news outlets. Here is one of the NY Times articles, plus a video.

I am particularly interested in DBS stories because I may opt for this treatment. Drug therapy for Parkinson's disease is annoying and has unwanted side effects for me. It works well for only about half of my waking hours. The other half of my day is experienced as either waxing or waning tremors, anxiety, and depression as the meds take effect or wear off.

If you see any reports, studies, or firsthand accounts of DBS, please send them to me or add a comment here on my blog. If you have a DBS and want to share your own experience with it including where it was implanted, how it was programmed, and whether you are happy with it, please comment!

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