Myth of Alzheimer's: What You Aren't Being Told About Today's Most Dreaded Diagnosis

Myth of Alzheimer's: What You Aren't Being Told About Today's Most Dreaded Diagnosis

by Peter J. Whitehouse, Daniel George
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Myth of Alzheimer's: What You Aren't Being Told About Today's Most Dreaded Diagnosis by Peter J. Whitehouse, Daniel George

Dr. Peter Whitehouse will transform the way we think about Alzheimer's disease. In this provocative and ground-breaking book he challenges the conventional wisdom about memory loss and cognitive impairment; questions the current treatment for Alzheimer's disease; and provides a new approach to understanding and rethinking everything we thought we knew about brain aging.

The Myth of Alzheimer's provides welcome answers to the questions that millions of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease – and their families – are eager to know:

Is Alzheimer's a disease?

What is the difference between a naturally aging brain and an Alzheimer's brain?

How effective are the current drugs for AD? Are they worth the money we spend on them?

What kind of hope does science really have for the treatment of memory loss? And are there alternative interventions that can keep our aging bodies and minds sharp?

What promise does genomic research actually hold?

What would a world without Alzheimer's look like, and how do we as individuals and as human communities get there?

Backed up by research, full of practical advice and information, and infused with hope, THE MYTH OF ALZHEIMER'S will liberate us from this crippling label, teach us how to best approach memory loss, and explain how to stave off some of the normal effects of aging.

"I don't have a magic bullet to prevent your brain from getting older, and so I don't claim to have the cure for AD; but I do offer a powerful therapy—a new narrative for approaching brain aging that undercuts the destructive myth we tell today. Most of our knowledge and our thinking is organized in story form, and thus stories offer us the chief means of making sense of the present, looking into the future, and planning and creating our lives. New approaches to brain aging require new stories that can move us beyond the myth of Alzheimer's disease and towards improved quality of life for all aging persons in our society. It is in this book that your new story can begin." -Peter Whitehouse, M.D., Ph.D.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312368173
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 12/09/2008
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 272,450
Product dimensions: 9.22(w) x 6.06(h) x 0.89(d)

About the Author

Peter J. Whitehouse, M.D., Ph.D., one of the best known Alzheimer's experts in the world, specializes in neurology with an interest in geriatrics and cognitive science and a focus on dementia. He is the founder of the University Alzheimer Center (now the University Memory and Aging Center) at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University where he has held professorships in the neurology, neuroscience, psychiatry, psychology, organizational behavior, bioethics, cognitive science, nursing, and history. He is also currently a practicing geriatric neurologist. With his wife, Catherine, he founded The Intergenerational School, an award winning, internationally recognized public school committed to enhancing lifelong cognitive vitality.

Daniel George, MSc, is a research collaborator with Dr. Whitehouse at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Medical Anthropology at Oxford University in England.

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The Myth of Alzheimer's: What You Aren't Being Told About Today's Most Dreaded Diagnosis 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
celtic_lord88 More than 1 year ago
As someone who works in a lab researching Alzheimer Disease, I was surprised by the title but after further reading, I found what he was saying was true. The traditional view of Alzheimer Disease in the media is a view created by the hype. Alzheimer Disease is not a single disease that can be cured. There are a large number of changes that occur during aging which affect mental health and the goal of researchers should be to find the conditions under which the transition from normality to mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer Disease. Understanding this will give us a way to prevent rapid cognitive decline and treat individuals who suffer from it. You can't "cure" the loss of neurons. Once they are gone, they are gone. They can't be regrown. There is no magic bullet pill or fountain of youth that would allow us to live forever but there are plenty of elderly who don't show cognitive decline and we need to understand why. I recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am an educated and well-read caregiver to a father with AD and I read this book after hearing the author on NPR. I wanted to give his ideas full consideration so I forced myself through the book. I still struggle to find a useful purpose in his approach. The myth he condemns is that AD is a distinct disease that can be cured; he states that it is a part of normal "brain aging" which happens to be rapid. He criticizes the medical community and the pharmaceutical industry in overemphasizing the benefits of their products and promoting the chance for a cure and AD organizations for being the benefactors of funds under this representation. And, he insists that we should focus on prevention even though he cannot identify a cause of rapid "brain aging", or what the rest of us call AD. While the author makes some good suggestions about the possible prevention or delaying of "brain aging", he bases his suggestions on associations and what he admits are studies that have not been replicated or fully proven - the very criticism he uses against the scientific/medical community who he blames for creating the dreaded label of AD. What he doesn't really address is that the experience of AD (or whatever he wants to call it) DOES differ from other brain aging. His desire to not label individuals could prevent families from preparing for the future, and his emphasis on prevention and interpersonal treatment lends itself to putting guilt on the person and their loved ones. He also condemns the drugs that do help some people function better for longer because they don't provide a cure - I was never led to believe they were a cure. Lastly, his complaints about too much money going for a cure vs. treatment/education/support for families is a common complaint with chronic diseases and to me, seems naïve. I wish Whitehouse would have written a more positive book in which he summed up the scientific limitations briefly and then focused on suggestions for preventing brain aging and promoting healthy living. However, he probably would not sell as many copies of the book without the controversial premise and title.