Thursday, 27 October 2016

A New Book About Neuropathy May Be Worth A Read

Today's post from press.jhu (see link below) is basically a book review via an interview with the author but a very useful one nevertheless. Despite the seeming growth of neuropathy as a 'coffee table topic' and more and more people understanding what happens to millions of people across the world with nerve damage; there are still relatively few good books on the subject available. By good books, I mean books about nerve damage that everybody can relate to without being bogged down by impossible neural science. Dr Janice Wiesman has written 'Peripheral Neuropathy: What It Is and What You Can Do to Feel Better​.' and it seems very promising indeed for the average person who is battling the disease daily. We need objectivity; no hidden commercial agendas and plain well-explained facts that don't try to blind us with science. This book may go some way to providing us with exactly that. Objective, factual information is like gold-dust, so it may be worth while keeping an eye out for this publication.

Q&A with Dr. Janice Wiesman 
Submitted by krm on Tue, 2016-10-25

With her new book coming out soon, Dr. Janice Wiesman has stopped by the JHUP blog to answer a few questions about Peripheral Neuropathy.

Q: Why did you decide to write this book?

For the past 20 years I have been educating patients and families about neuropathy in the office. For the past 10 years I have been speaking at neuropathy support group meetings and patients and families have asked me to make my slides available. So, after 20 years of educating patients and families a few at a time, I decided to listen to my patients and write the book. The last such book written for patients and families was publish in 2006. A lot has changed since then. In addition, I noticed that all of the other books out there on peripheral neuropathy are written by non-physicians: patients, therapists, chiropractors etc. Some of them seen to have a hidden, commercial agenda that I think is not appropriate for a book intending to inform and advise people who have an illness. In addition to providing information regarding neuropathy and a guide through the process of being examined, tested and evaluated in the neurologist’s office, this book is intended to empower patients during their office visit. They have to make sure that the neurologist is explaining things to them to their satisfaction and providing the information and services they need to live the best life possible.

Q: What were some of the most surprising things you learned while writing/researching the book?

It reminded me of what a truly miraculous structure is a nerve cell. A nerve cell, called a neuron, is 50 microns in diameter. That is 50 millionths of a meter. It maintains an arm-like structure that can be up to 3 feet long. That is like a man who is 6 feet tall maintaining an arm that is 20 miles long! This nerve cell and its long arm have to work for 120 years. New nerve cells and nerves are not made; you have to maintain the ones you are born with.

Q: What is new about your book/research that sets it apart from other books in the field?

It is the only up-to-date, consumer-targeted book about neuropathy written by a neurologist on the market. The last such book was published 10 years ago. There has been a lot of progress in the last 10 years in the diagnosis and treatment of neuropathy.

The book walks the reader through the anatomy and function of nerves, the ways that nerves are damaged, decodes the neurological exam, explains common tests and why they are performed, describes treatment with and without medication and ends with a discussion of lifestyle issues that affect, and are affected by, nerve damage.

Q: Did you encounter any eye-opening statistics while writing your book?

It is estimated that 20 million Americans have neuropathy – that is a staggering number. For a third of these people, a cause is not found. While diabetes mellitus is currently the most common cause of neuropathy in the world, until recently, it was leprosy.

Q: Does your book uncover and/or debunk any longstanding myths?

Persons with neuropathy have no barrier to exercise or to a fully satisfying sex life! Neuropathy symptoms are due to damage to the physical structures called nerves and not to “being nervous” or “having nerves”.

Q: What is the single most important fact revealed in your book and why is it significant?

That for many people with neuropathy, the path to symptoms relief is in their own hands. This is particularly true of neuropathy caused by diabetes mellitus and alcohol use. Patients who are empowered to control their illness will be more successful in leading the fullest possible life.

Q: How do you envision the lasting impact of your book?

I hope the book serves as a reference for people with neuropathy and their families. My goal is to educate patients about this one aspect of their own bodies. I hope the book is something they will use to “look up” information about their illness. In addition, I hope it will give them “permission” to question their physicians and make sure all of their questions are answered to their satisfaction.

Q: What do you hope people will take away from reading your book?

I would like patients to know that there is a reason the doctor asks certain questions, performs the physical examination in a certain way and orders certain tests. I want patients to know “what the doctor is thinking’ at each step of the office visit. There is a lot an individual can do to prevent, mitigate and alleviate symptoms of neuropathy. Individuals with neuropathy can lead full and happy lives.

Janice F. Wiesman, MD, FAAN, is an associate clinical professor of neurology at New York University School of Medicine and an adjunct assistant professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine. She is the author of Peripheral Neuropathy: What It Is and What You Can Do to Feel Better​.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments welcome but advertising your own service or product will unfortunately result in your comment not being published.