Tuesday, December 11, 2018
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Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic [Paperback] Minimize

Book Description

When Pamela Weintraub, a science journalist, learned that her oldest son tested positive for Lyme disease, she thought she had found an answer to the symptoms that had been plaguing her family for years—but her nightmare had just begun.  Almost everything about Lyme disease turned out to be deeply controversial, from the microbe causing the infection, to the length and type of treatment and the kind of practitioner needed.

On one side of the fight, the scientists who first studied Lyme describe a disease transmitted by a deer tick that is hard to catch but easy to cure no matter how advanced the case. On the other side, rebel doctors insist that Lyme and a soup of “co-infections” cause a complicated spectrum of illness often dramatically different – and far more difficult to treat – than the original researchers claim. Instead of just swollen knees and a rash, patients can experience exhaustion, disabling pain, and a “Lyme fog” that leaves them dazed and confused. As patients struggle for answers, once-treatable infections become chronic.

In this nuanced picture of the intense controversy and crippling uncertainty surrounding Lyme disease, Pamela Weintraub sheds light on one of the angriest medical disputes raging today. The most comprehensive book ever written about the past, present and future of Lyme disease, Cure Unknown exposes the ticking clock of a raging epidemic and the vulnerability we all share.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* When journalist Weintraub and her family moved from their cramped, treeless home in New York City to a spacious, tree-shaded manse in suburban Chappaqua, they believed it was all good. Or at least the big yard with deer cavorting in nearby woods would be better, healthier, than their city digs. Within a short time, first one son, then the other, became sick with a series of increasingly debilitating disorders. Soon Weintraub and her husband presented a laundry list of similar complaints, many serious enough to threaten to sidetrack their careers. The family turned to local physicians for answers. Lyme disease, an infection communicated by the bite of a tick carried by those cavorting deer, was mentioned but discounted for a variety of reasons. Weintraub turned to the most prestigious medical centers New York had to offer and got similar responses. Hearing one implausible diagnosis after another and, worse, seeing no improvement in their individual conditions, the credentialed science writer began independent research and turned up what amounts to a controversy as contentious as creationism versus evolution. Weintraub turns a tragic (her children are still unwell) yet eye-opening experience into a shocking exposure of what can happen when egos, greed, and peer pressure supercede objective evidence, allowing patients to suffer chronic, disabling illness. --Donna Chavez --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“Pamela Weintraub's book is compelling, clear and troubling.”
–Patti Adcroft, editorial director of Discover magazine

“In Cure, Unknown, Pamela Weintraub has produced both the definitive book about Lyme disease and associated disorders and a survivor’s account of a grueling medical odyssey. Weintraub is a masterful science writer and storyteller, and she tackles the quarrels and quagmires surrounding this baffling illness with intelligence and pathos. This is an important and unforgettable book, destined to make a lasting contribution to the field of investigative health journalism.”
–Kaja Perina, editor in chief of Psychology Today

"A thoroughly researched and well-written account of the disease's controversial history."
--Jane Brody, New York Times
"Pam Weintraub, veteran science writer, weaves personal narrative with hard-hitting investigative journalism to bring the underground epidemic of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases up from under the
-Rebecca Wells, author of Ya-Yas in Bloom and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.
"I sometimes wonder if the only investigative writers who will possess the necessary temerity to remove the white gloves and tackle these putative experts to the ground will be those, like Weintraub and the
late Randy Shilts, whose personal experience demands that they follow the rocky trail that leads to the truth."
-Hillary Johnson, author of Osler's Web: Inside the Labyrinth of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
"Millions suffering from symptoms of a mysterious disease need suffer confusion and loss no longer. If you want to know the real story behind Lyme disease and how to find your way back to health, read this book."
-Mark Hyman, MD, author of the New York Times bestseller, UltraMetabolism.
"Science journalism at its best."
--Amiram Katz, MD, Clinical Faculty, Neurology Department, Yale School of Medicine
"Weintraub turns a tragic yet eye-opening experience into a shocking exposure of what can happen when egos, greed, and peer pressure supercede objective evidence, allowing patients to suffer chronic,
disabling illness."
–Donna Chavez, Booklist
"Exhaustively researched and highly recommended."
–Tina Neville, Library Journal
"A tale of biological complexities, scientific turf battles, political intrigue, human egos and money – lots of it."
–Dorothy Kupcha Leland, Sacramento Bee
"Living with Lyme gave Weintraub both the insight and the dogged ambition to find out some truths ...  rather than remaining stuck at the pro-Lyme, anti-Lyme debate, Weintraub spent many hours
interviewing researchers who are experts in the ticks that spread Lyme, and the bacterial spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, that causes it. What she found is that these researchers -- at places like the
State University of New York at Stony Brook on Long Island, and the University of California at Davis -- are slowly figuring out how complex the bacteria and the disease are. And Weintraub said, these
researchers, by and large, confirm what many Lyme patients have learned through bitter experience -- the bacteria can cause a persistent infection that may not be treated easily by a couple of
weeks of antibiotics."
--Robert Miller, Danbury News-Times

"The view from inside the tick tornado: Sober but scary ...A science and health journalist, Weintraub writes clearly and passionately about a mysterious illness that has confounded physicians, patients and
scientists for more than three decades, while she tries to balance personal narrative and objective journalism... a comprehensive and compassionate guide to a dreaded illness named after a bucolic,
tick-infested town on Long Island Sound."
--Bill Williams, Hartford Courant
"In the war of information on Lyme disease, patient activist groups have started from a marked disadvantage to the medical establishment in terms of visibility and credibility. That may be changing, and science journalist Pamela Weintraub's new book, "Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic" (St. Martin's Press), could be one reason. Weintraub, a senior editor at Discover magazine, uses her family's protracted Lyme odyssey as the jumping off point for an exploration into the history, politics and, predominantly, the patient experience of the tick-borne disease."
--- Susan Morse, Washington Post



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