From Anti-Alzheimer's 'Magic Bullets' to True Brain Health
So really, this is a very important book, but if someone you love, including yourself, is having cognitive issues, you will feel the pain that is already there. There is hope in the book too, but not the kind that was expected. Jun 30, Brent Green rated it it was amazing.
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Betty Friedan helped change our thoughts and language about gender relations. Martin Luther King, Jr. Now Dr. Peter Whitehouse is helping change our thoughts and language about aging - more particularly about our aging brains. And this is a very good time for another social revolution in thought and language.
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Seventy-eight million Baby Boomers are reaching a time in life when brain changes due to aging are inevitable and, with enoug Betty Friedan helped change our thoughts and language about gender relations. Seventy-eight million Baby Boomers are reaching a time in life when brain changes due to aging are inevitable and, with enough time passing, universal.
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- [New] the myth of alzheimers what you arent being told about todays most dreaded diagnosis?
The language we use to describe the inevitabilities of cognitive aging tap into the deepest reservoirs of fear: senior moments, dementia, loss of self, and organic brain dysfunction. In particular, we think of two words with unspoken angst: Alzheimer's disease. The perpetrators of the Myths are comfortable with our collective fears because they inspire research budgets, drug sales, elaborate diagnostic testing protocols, and nicely decorated prison facilities. Above all, the Myths perpetrators create another class of human being, the unfortunate mortals who are less-than-fully human because of diminishing memories, communication skills and competencies with the activities of daily living.
They are dying brains without hearts.
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To most of us, such a medical diagnosis is a decree worse than death itself. It is what we dread for our parents; it is what we fear for ourselves. The authors believe the time has come to change our language and our innate conceptions of cognitive aging With more than 30 years of experience as a scientist and geriatric neurologist, Dr.
Whitehouse has been at the forefront of the evolution of the disease we call Alzheimer's. He has earned over a million dollars consulting with pharmaceutical companies about development of cholinesterase inhibitors, the contemporary silver bullets in drug therapies for early treatment of disease symptoms.
He has accepted grants to support research and education in service of the same industry, valued at millions of more dollars. He has traveled the world to discuss the marvels of the coming cognitive pharmacopeia, again a benefactor of drug industry dollars. And, finally, he has set in motion a pugnacious call for sensibility and a more informed public. As he portends, " the book is at root a book for Baby Boomers and health care professionals, and anyone else who wants to join me in bringing a new understanding to Alzheimer's disease and taking control of their own brain aging.
Taking control is our legacy, and at exactly the right moment in the trajectory of our lives, Peter Whitehouse passionately compels us to take control of the source of our humanity, our creativity, our intellect, our personhood He suggests we have choices if we have knowledge and wisdom. He suggests we have dignity if we change our paradigms. He suggests we have the power to change what it means to be human across the entire lifespan, up to and including the twilight years when some of us inevitably will confront the challenges of cognitive decline.
He suggests we no longer need passively to resign to medicine's most fearsome diagnosis, for either ourselves or those we love. He tells us we can deconstruct Alzheimer's and together create a more humanistic, healthy and hopeful view of brain aging. That can be our generation's final legacy. To help us get from here to there by overcoming the tyranny of AD , the authors have written a new narrative about brain aging.
By employing the transformative power of stories and anecdotes, buttressed by the precision of hard science, they take readers through a fascinating journey. Unabashedly they stare down the mythmakers. AD is not a brain disease or a mental illness; symptoms we associate with AD are not simply a brain's molecular breakdown occurring in old age but more often "a rainstorm that occurs throughout life. Whitehouse challenges us that AD does not lead to loss of self, as we might have envisioned the plight of President Ronald Reagan; rather, persons with cognitive impairment are still able to be vital contributors to society until the final days of life.
By evoking new paradigms about brain aging, we can allow people the noble opportunities to continue contributing.
For example, Dr. Whitehouse is also a founder with his wife of The Intergenerational School, a farsighted institution that brings children together with wise teachers who are great repositories of life's most important lessons. If this book simply accomplished the objective of "creating a new cultural narrative that can shape the way we age in the twenty-first century," it would be an important work worthy of careful review and contemplation. Dr Whitehouse unveils everything we need to understand, from preparing for a doctor's visit to knowing how to live successfully with aging across the human lifespan.
So, in the end, he teaches readers how to "think like a mountain. Instead of elevating "anti-aging" as the highest purpose for our credit cards, Dr. Whitehouse suggests that the energy both psychic and monetary for self-preservation can instead be directed at "becoming agents of great change in the world," the final expression of Boomers' highest aspirations in youth.
Another peak to scale is self-indulgence that costs our health. So simply he suggests eating well, exercising judiciously and eliminating bad habits that foster disease. This seminal book isn't just about Alzheimer's or the Myths that infuse the disease with too much power over our collective consciousness; it is the most intelligent work thus far about our generation's final crusade, the quest for wisdom in our longevity. Co-authored with Daniel George, Whitehouse expresses his opinion that Alzheimer's isn't truly a disease; the well-known symptoms are caused by an aging brain.
The two of them discuss the original naming as well as pharmaceutical products currently being prescribed and the ill effect it has had on patients. The inevitable loss of brain functioning would be better served they feel through diet, exercise, reduction of environmental exposures as well as stress, and participating in vital activitie Co-authored with Daniel George, Whitehouse expresses his opinion that Alzheimer's isn't truly a disease; the well-known symptoms are caused by an aging brain.
The inevitable loss of brain functioning would be better served they feel through diet, exercise, reduction of environmental exposures as well as stress, and participating in vital activities to build a cognitive reserve. They urge continuation of such activities even after the first signs of memory loss appear. Whitehouse is a neurologist who has specialized in geriatrics and cognitive science with a focus on dementia. The book is an excellent resource for family members trying to sort out what should be done for an affected loved one Nov 06, Sherry Monger rated it liked it.
Whitehouse is a geriatric neurologist who is concerned with society's way of viewing Alzheimer's -as a disease that we have to win the war against. He says seeing patients as victims in a vicious battle is unhelpful and causes a great deal of anxiety in all of us.follow site
Changing the paradigm around Alzheimer’s disease
Whitehouse prefers that we see Alzheimer's as a part of the natural brain aging process that we will all experience, to one degree or another. We need to learn how to make sufferers of dementia comfortable in their own communiti Dr. We need to learn how to make sufferers of dementia comfortable in their own communities and filled with as much purpose as is possible. He is concerned that our present view only serves to fill the coffers of Big Pharma.
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Sep 28, Annette rated it really liked it Shelves: An excellent book for anyone with aging parents or someone aging themselves. It challenges the notion that Alzheimer's is always a death sentence and challenges the urge to "label and classify" people. However, what you aren't told is that we don't even know how to diagnose Alzheimer's disease, let alone tabulate the numbers of disease victims.
Because there is no single biological profile for AD, every clinical diagnosis is considered "probable"--and, frankly speaking, not even postmortem examination can differentiate a so-called AD victim from those who have aged normally. Hence, the claim that a diagnosis of "definite" Alzheimer's can be made after death is itself questionable. The gold standard of neuropathology is a bit tarnished. No one really ever "gets" a singular disease called Alzheimer's, and there is no evidence that Alzheimer's is spreadingthroughout the baby boomer population other than the fact that the world is aging and there are more middle-aged people at risk for brain-aging phenomena.
The Myth of Alzheimer's: What You Aren't Being Told About Today's Most Dreaded Diagnosis
We can cure Alzheimer's through the continued investment of our public and private dollarsThe myth that Alzheimer's is a disease separate from aging also carries the promise that science will one day win the "war" against this disease. But if Alzheimer's cannot be differentiated from normal brain aging, to cure AD we would literally have to arrest the natural process of brain aging. I am not alone in casting doubt upon this myth.
As you will read, even scientists in the Alzheimer's research field will tell you that a cure is unlikely and that we need to invest our dollars more wisely by putting them toward prevention and care rather than predominantly in cure. However, like the myth of the Fountain of Youth, which captivated past civilizations, the promise of a panacea for one of our most dreaded "diseases" is a powerful cultural myth, and one purveyed by powerful pharmaceutical companies, advocacy organizations, and private researchers with much profit to gain.
It is a myth we have been seduced by, and the combination of hype and fear it inspires has distorted our expectations and understandings about our aging brains. MY STORYFor nearly twenty-five years, I have served as a leader in the Alzheimer's field, and have helped international Alzheimer's organizations and pharmaceutical companies shape the rules, guidelines, diagnostic categories, and accepted clinical approaches to Alzheimer's disease. My experiences and relationships with other colleagues have endowed me with some influence and power and have enabled me to become what the science community calls a "thought leader" or KOL--"key opinion leader" --one who guides our conventional thinking about a particular condition.
In the beginning of my career, at a time when no medicines had been approved specifically for Alzheimer's and companies were unsure about how to proceed in drug development, the pharmaceutical industry reached out to me and listened to my thoughts and opinions about treatingpersons with memory challenges. Once drugs made their way to the market in the s the relationship shifted.
Rather than being interested in having my thoughts influence their views, it seemed as if industry wanted to change my mind and convince me that their drugs were worth giving to my patients. This focus on biological approaches to brain aging across our society has shifted the whole dynamic of the field away from caring for the aging patient and his family and toward drugs as the primary means of ensuring the quality of his life. Too often, aging patients and their families leave the doctor's office with little more than a pill prescription often encompassing several pills and fear generated by the Alzheimer's myth, knowing little about how to effectively care for the condition.
This is inhumane and inexcusable. Now, upon the one hundredth anniversary of the first case of Alzheimer's, I feel obliged to share my stories and the insight I have gained, to inform the general public how I--a lifelong Alzheimer's disease researcher and clinician--have evolved to espouse a different ideological position that transforms a significant portion of what I've believed in as a professional carer for patients.
Having spent my life within the scientific, political, economic, and social institutions of the AD field--universities, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies--studying and treating human aging and disease, I am ready to challenge the power that the mainstream "Alzheimer's disease" myth has over us and help people see what I have seen and to think critically about the evolution in thought that has occurred over the past several decades, which has shaped the way we see our aging bodies and minds and the way we act toward them.
I want to articulate a story of brain aging that can be a starting point for helping us better cope with and prepare for the travails of cognitive decline. No longer can we safely assume that the march of progress in the "War against AD" is moving at the hoped for speed or direction; no longer can we maintain the mythical illusion that AD is a battle against a specific disease that we will eventually "win"; no longer can we keep looking at aging persons, however embattled, as somehow "diseased.
In short, Alzheimer's is a hundred-year old myth that is over the hill. The entire scientific, technological, and political framework for aging needs to be reassessed to better serve patients and families in order to help people maximize their quality of life as they move along the path of cognitive aging. Concerned about short-term memory lapsesFrank is a retired newspaper editor from Boston, whose short-term memory lapses have him frightened that he has Alzheimer's.