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The Test: Living in the Shadow of Huntington's Disease

Overview

The Test is a memoir of the five years Barema spent in anguish over the decision to take the test for Huntington's disease. Barema recalls his long, emotionally wrought journey from deciding to take the test to receiving the results; he describes how his daily life was consumed by questions and fear; and he movingly depicts the patience of his wife and the compassion of his doctor. The Test is both a suspense story and a vivid portrayal of the devastation Huntington's disease causes the families it strikes. ...
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Overview

The Test is a memoir of the five years Barema spent in anguish over the decision to take the test for Huntington's disease. Barema recalls his long, emotionally wrought journey from deciding to take the test to receiving the results; he describes how his daily life was consumed by questions and fear; and he movingly depicts the patience of his wife and the compassion of his doctor. The Test is both a suspense story and a vivid portrayal of the devastation Huntington's disease causes the families it strikes. Ultimately, it is a book about the power of hope and love to reach us even in our lowest moments.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This moving memoir confronts head-on one of the hardest issues presented by new medical technologies: whether to be tested for a genetic disease when you are not symptomatic. Huntington's disease is a progressive central nervous system condition with no cure, that leads to depression, uncontrollable limb movements, dementia and death within five to 10 years. Because the author's mother died of Huntington's and his brother had been diagnosed with it, Bar ma knew he had a 50% chance of getting it. Should he be tested for the defective gene? He agonizes for five years while watching his brother's deteriorating ability to walk, talk and eat, which he describes in haunting prose. In the midst of this turmoil, Bar ma, a French journalist, discovers that his younger sister also has Huntington's. Beset by depression, suicidal thoughts and fears for his children, fear of passing on "this H-bomb," he's sustained by talks with a gifted neurologist and his wife's love. He finally breaks free of his paralyzing anguish and decides to be tested. To heighten his pain during the month-long waiting period for the results, his father dies suddenly. The agony surrounding the author's concern for his siblings mixed with an ever-present fear for himself is movingly evoked in this brief, intense book. (Oct. 11) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781879957572
  • Publisher: Harper's Magazine Foundation
  • Publication date: 1/1/2010
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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