April Is Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month: Take Control With Brain-Healthy Nutrition, Exercise, and Healthy Coping Strategies to Manage Symptoms

There is evidence-based support that re-focused nutrition, exercise, and healthy emotional coping strategies may play roles in maintaining optimal health while living with Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders like multiple sclerosis. "Take Charge of Parkinson's Disease: Dynamic Lifestyle Changes to Put You in the Driver's Seat" is an unusual how-to book for anyone on the journey of living with Parkinson's, from the newly diagnosed, to those like author Anne Cutter Mikkelsen's husband, Mike, who has enjoyed an exceptional quality of life living with PD for decades.

A DiaMedica Publishing Guide to Optimum Wellness, "Take Charge of Parkinson's Disease" offers new perspectives and evidence-based support for boosting physical and emotional resilience and symptom management through brain-healthy nutrition, exercise, effective coping strategies, and enlightened caregiving. More than 80 original recipes by the author, with a wide variety of anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, nutrient-rich ingredients, and culinary herbs and spices known to favorably impact the brain, and how to stock a brain-healthy pantry are embedded in a stirring personal story from Anne, a French-trained chef, Master Gardener, and former restaurateur. The memoir offers insight into the couple's lives as they have learned to live vibrantly in the face of Parkinson's.

The practical measures and emotional support offered in "Take Charge" -- which demonstrate potential to possibly slow the progression of the disease and mitigate symptoms -- have earned praise from a chorus of persons with PD, their families, and Parkinson's and other movement disorder health care experts, including the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, The Brian Grant Foundation, and the Struthers Parkinson's Center. "Take Charge" is number four on The Library Journal's Top 20 Best Seller List, March 1, 2012.

Loss of control underscores Parkinson's disease, which impacts more than one million people in the US, their carepartners and families, and 60,00 newly diagnosed each year. "Take Charge" espouses making the most of what we can control: what we eat, how we choose to think about our circumstances, and what we bring to our relationships. The book reveals valuable lessons about coping with physical and emotional losses experienced in PD and transcending the disease to fully enjoy life.

Eduard Alden "Mike" Mikkelsen, an acclaimed sculptor and potter, was diagnosed with PD in 1993. Also a lifelong classic auto collector and restoration enthusiast, he and Anne recently collaborated on a second memoir, "The Dodge: Guts, Glory, and Living at Full-Throttle," published in February 2012 by Willow Island Press. "The Dodge" recounts the intertwined life stories of Mike, Anne, and the beloved 1941 Dodge D-1 Luxury Liner convertible he rescued 60 years ago at age 17.  Their adventures together proved a lifeline for Mike. 

DiaMedica Publishing's books on health and wellness emphasize healthy behavior at every age as well as the management of a wide range of chronic disorders. Spring 2012 book releases include "The Woman's Fibromyalgia Toolkit" (March), which provides clear and practical instructions to help women change their lives and effectively manage their fibromyalgia symptoms. "Cancer Clinical Trials," slated for April 2012 release, is the definitive guide for anyone considering therapeutic options in addition to standard cancer therapy. The book will help readers decide if a clinical trial is a good option for them, to choose an appropriate trial, and to navigate through the clinical trial process.

Anne and Mike Mikkelsen live in Bellingham, Washington, and also have deep roots in Minnesota.