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The Case of the Frozen Addicts Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 309 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; 1st ed edition (May 2, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679424652
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679424659
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #885,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In 1982, six patients appeared in California clinics displaying mysterious symptoms: their bodies were so stiff that they appeared to be frozen. Langston, currently the president of the California Parkinson's Foundation, was one of the first physicians to examine the patients. He discovered that they had all injected a "designer" drug into their systems that created symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease. Through excellent detective work and a good deal of pure luck, Langston located the chemical MPTP, which also produced Parkinsonian symptoms in primates. That discovery was of supreme medical importance, providing Langston and other researchers with the ability to test Parkinson's treatments on animal models. New approaches, including fetal tissue transplantation, could now be pursued. Langston's book intersperses discussions of recent research on Parkinson's while continuing to report on the progress of the "frozen addicts." A fast-paced medical detective format makes this a fascinating and immensely informative work. Highly recommended for most libraries.?Tina Neville, Univ. of South Florida at St. Petersburg Lib.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The fascinating story of 12 years in Langston's career takes him from clinician to organizer of the Parkinson's Institute in California. In the process and with the aid of his growing staff and several Swedish physicians, he "thawed out" George, Juanita, and Connie, three of six addicts he'd been called to see in 1982. The six had suddenly shown signs of advanced Parkinson's disease that included inflexible or "frozen" bodies and inability to communicate. An alert and imaginative neurologist, Langston eventually suspected a chemical cause because of indications that all six were addicted to heroin or had used at least some just before the onset of symptoms. Ultimately, Langston unlocked his patients to the point at which a long and tortuous medical detective story could begin. The happy conclusion for the successfully thawed three came after the use of various experimental drugs and the transplanting of, first, adrenal, and finally, fetal, tissues. Readers of many stripes should find this well-told tale exciting. William Beatty

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
Also, the technical aspects are covered quite well.
William
It has been great for us to gain an understanding of this mysterious illness.
randeesue@aol.com
I read the book but it was borrowed via an inter-library loan.
Mom Writer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By jonhaff on June 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
When I bought this book I didn't know what to expect - I thought it would be similar in style to Oliver Sacks' "Awakenings" (i.e. a series of case histories). While I enjoyed Awakenings I would have to say that this book is much better - it truly reads like an un-put-downable thriller. The plot has all the ingredients for a great story - whatever we might think of heroin addiction and the criminal backgrounds of many of the frozen addicts, we can only feel sympathy for their terrible fate; Langston is a perspicacious but poorly funded neurologist who must fight the prejudices of the medical establishment (and ultimately the government and President) in order to develop an exciting but controversial new treatment that will give the addicts the only hope of release from their living hell. It's great stuff, made all the better of course because its based on truth. The book is also hugely informative and gives a sobering insight into the suffering endured by victims of Parkinsons and other neurodegenerative diseases; as well as offering hope in the form of future treatments. It is also superbly written. What more can I say?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By G. Scott on May 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
A relation between a disease know for its unknown causes and a new "designer" drug made to bypass the actual laws, drug that actually caused the addicts to get the Parkinson's disease, then the overwhelmed reaction to the medical research community that could make a disaster by spreading the disease amongst researchers unaware of precautions to take manipulating the chemicals that caused the six drug addicts to be sick. This book is great from the begining to the end, as entertaining as the best fiction book even though it is a very factual book. I do not have a strong medical background, but I clearly understood this book and enjoyed reading it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 24, 1997
Format: Paperback
A must for all Parkinson's Disease interested persons. A spellbinding tale depicting the beginning of modern science research into the causes of PD brought about by a very unlikely source. Hard to set aside once started.

E. Jack Savely
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By randeesue@aol.com on November 13, 1998
Format: Paperback
We are passing the book around the family now. The farther has PD. It has been great for us to gain an understanding of this mysterious illness.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. Vreeland on July 31, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved reading and re-reading this book. Simple language and it's a thriller for sure. I love how great it is and how in depth it becomes - describing the medical and scientific parts in a clearly understandable way. The chemistry in this book made me fall in love with my organic chemistry class before I even took it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mom Writer on November 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read the book but it was borrowed via an inter-library loan. I ordered the book a week ago because I went to a talk by the author. Very interesting stuff. This discovery totally revolutionized how Parkinson's disease is being studied. Without the findings documented in this book, there would never have been animal models for drug development and the deep brain stimulation surgery. It is a book that worth reading, many times over.
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