The Spectrum of Hope

The Spectrum of Hope

An Optimistic and New Approach to Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias

Book - 2017
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Imagine finding a glimmer of good news in a diagnosis of Alzheimer's. And imagine how that would change the outlook of the 5 million Americans who suffer from Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, not to mention their families, loved ones, and caretakers. A neurologist who's been specializing in dementia and memory loss for more than 20 years, Dr. Gayatri Devi rewrites the story of Alzheimer's by defining it as a spectrum disorder--like autism, Alzheimer's is a disease that affects different people differently. She encourages people who are worried about memory impairment to seek a diagnosis, because early treatment will enable doctors and caregivers to manage the disease more effectively through drugs and other therapies.

Told through the stories of Dr. Devi's patients, The Spectrum of Hope is the kind of narrative medical writing that grips the reader, humanizes the science, and offers equal parts practical advice and wisdom with skillful ease. But beyond the pleasures of great reading, it's a book that offers real hope. Here are chapters on how to maintain independence and dignity; how to fight depression, anxiety, and apathy; how to communicate effectively with a person suffering from dementia. Plus chapters on sexuality, genetics, going public with the diagnosis, even putting together a bucket list--because through her practice, Dr. Devi knows that the majority of Alzheimer's patients continue to live and work in their communities. They babysit their grandkids, drive to the store (or own the store), serve their clients, or otherwise live fulfilling lives. That's news that 5 million people are waiting to hear.

Publisher: New York : Workman Publishing, ©2017.
ISBN: 9780761193098
Characteristics: xii, 324 pages ;,24 cm.


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Mar 09, 2019

Dr. Devi's writing is clear and engaging, and she peppers the complete narrative with very human anecdotes from her decades of clinical practice. She argues for the more current vision of Alzheimer's dementia not as an immediate death sentence, but rather as a "spectrum disorder," with many contributing causes and a range of effects on cognition, memory, activities of daily life, and speed of onset. Positively speaking, this allows her to care for those with dementia - and their family caregivers - in a more nuanced manner. Her book, similarly, allows for a wide span of reactions and tips for handling work, independence, love, wandering, psychological symptoms, and even end-of-life issues.

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