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The Spectrum of Hope: An Optimistic and New Approach to Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias
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The Spectrum of Hope: An Optimistic and New Approach to Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  115 ratings  ·  29 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 324 pages
Published October 31st 2017 by Workman Publishing Company
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4.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  115 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Spectrum of Hope is a very insightful book about the treatment and new approaches to dealing with alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The author Gayatri Devi, MD is a neurologist and these diseases are a major part of her specialty.

Devi provides important information for patients and caregivers. In the book she uses stories about her patients to help paint a picture of how she deals with her patients and caregivers. I learned that there are many types of memory diseases and what types of
When I saw the title of this book, I was immediately drawn to it. I felt the need to find what this doctor has learned, what there is that is cause for optimism in her approach to Alzheimer's and other dementias. What I've learned does give me hope and a measure of optimism. Within the Alzheimer's classifications of rapid vs slowly progressive, Dr. Devi has broken down the disease into further levels, and evaluates major cognitive areas and current level of function. Using multiple case studies, ...more
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc, netgalley
ARC provided by NetGalley and Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sadly I found this to be uninformative and dry.

The information is repeat of what's been published. Information that is found in pamphlets handed out by doctors and nurses.

My expectations might have been too high or what I thought would be informative with solutions and options for help didn't evolve, sadly.

I do a lot of reading and researching for new information as my Mother has alzheimer's and had hopes for some new and
Peter Tillman
WSJ Excerpt-essay (may be paywalled):

"Seven years ago, Joe, a 73-year-old man with a patrician bearing, came to see me at my Manhattan office with his stylish wife and their grown daughter. (I’ve changed his name to protect his privacy.) A money manager in charge of more than a billion dollars in assets, Joe could tell that his memory was fading. Transactions that were once easy for him had started to cause him trouble. ...Many people have the idea that Al
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've started reading two or three other books about Alzheimer's, but didn't get very far. This book is an absolute GEM. It weaves information, reflections, stories, advice and encouragement. Beautifully written! Thinking about writing to the author, not my usual practice. Definitely on my ten best ever books list. Bought it before finishing reading the library copy. P.S.: This book is not just about Alzheimer's. It would be of benefit to ANYONE who is alive.
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Very Important Book!!! So wish I had read this a year ago, I could have had some info in hand to be more aggressive in getting my Dad in for evaluation & treatment. Easy to read, do not need any kind of medical background to understand. Highly recommend for anyone concerned for themselves or others about developing dementia or have seen concerning behavioral changes. There are a lot of highly functional people living with dementia. Its important to address cognitive and brain reserve and m ...more
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a helpful book!

My mother was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She’s likely had it for the last several years ...but so excellently “covered” for her disease, only those seeing her on a daily basis would realize something was “off” with her. This book was just excellent in laying out various scenarios and at the same time helping to answer questions for those of us serving as caregivers. I could see mother in many of these scenarios, and feel I have a much better understanding of what sh
Leyla Johnson
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was very interested to read this book having had both my parents die from the result of Alzheimer’s, my mother from early onset, my father had Lewy body type.
The disease has intrigued me due to both going this way - and wonder if it was hereditary, environmental or medical factor had something to do with it.
This book really did give me hope for the future of Alzheimer patients, my mother tragically spent many many years in a chair not speaking, occasionally you would see tear slipping down he
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A welcome and much-needed alternative to the dire picture of the one-size-fits-all Alzheimer's that exists in the popular media, this book offers an alternative: a spectrum with room for lifestyle changes + medicine that offsets rate of change. The message is wholly inspiring. There is no question about it. Especially when the author, a noted neurologist, takes the time to explain the facts, genetics doesn't turn out to explain much, even though somehow everyone assumes they do. Once the reader ...more
Barbara Klein
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Reading this book made me realize that Alzheimer's Disease isn't necessarily an immediate death sentence. There are degrees of symptoms. The disease can progress rapidly or slowly. Dr. Devi's approach to her patients is centered on maintaining their sense of dignity and self worth and she concentrates on how best to achieve a satisfying way of life for them. She seems like the kind of physician/healer we all need. If you know of someone who has been diagnosed with this spectrum of disorders or j ...more
Carol Custer
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Nobody used to talk about Alzheimer's or dementia much less admit they were worried it might happen to them! But as the Baby Boomers age, the topic is becoming more and more relevant.

This book is easy to read and gives some valuable information about the different stages of Alzheimer's and dementia. It's fascinating to read.
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My family is new to this disease. This book gave me a great proscriptive during this new journey. All caretakers should read this book.
Stephanie Ceman
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
easy read but I fear it offers false hope to the majority of Alzheimer's sufferers-- for example, vitamin deficiencies should be the first thing ruled out in the differential diagnosis
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed listening to her stories of those with Alzheimer's. She did a very good job of proving her point that it is a spectrum. Each person is an individual who is affected differently by this disease.

It has opened up more avenues of understanding for me. I volunteer in a nursing home with my dog. We see many people with dementia. Some days they repeat many of the same conversations as before. Other times they reveal fascinating insights into a world gone by. They of course love the visits wit
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
The Spectrum of Hope by Gayatri Devi is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late September.

Each chapter is posed as a question that someone who has been newly diagnosed with Alzheimer's might be asking aloud and/or wondering about on a day to day basis - these questions are related to diagnosis, multimodal treatments, addressing ongoing symptoms, and maintaining one's independence, way of life, and individuality. I felt comfortable with Devi's narration (especially her non-case-study lingo and
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Most of us have known a family member or friend either with Alzheimer's or in the role of caregiver for a dementia patient. The possibility or reality of such a diagnosis strikes fear in the minds of all involved. Dr. Devi shares knowledge and perceptions gained from years of her medical practice treating the many forms of dementia.

Using a multitude of case studies the author relates diagnostic and treatment options plus the many decisions and conditions that patients, family and caregivers face
Christine Stafford
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Every single person should read this book. The spectrum of dementia/alzheimers is so wide and there are so many misconceptions. What an inspiring and positive book.
Christina Dudley
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I gave this very good book a quick read. Dr. Devi's perspective is new in that she characterizes Alzheimer's as a spectrum disorder, as individual in its progress as the person suffering. She wants people diagnosed as early as possible, so they can hit back with diet, exercise, mental exercises and stimulation, and drugs. Many of her patients were able to recognize loved ones till the end and function above and beyond society's expectations.

Sadly it didn't give me any hope for my mother-in-law,
Karen Lewis
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Contrary to popular opinion, a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is not a death sentence. Recent developments in neuroscience offer hope to those affected by Alzheimer’s. Dr. Devi’s book is required reading for those who fear they may be losing their memory, and especially for caregivers and friends of those already diagnosed. Diagnosis itself is complex, and it's essential to get an early workup in order to establish early interventions or to sort out other conditions that also affect memory and ...more
Nigel Senton
It was well written, the doctor gave appropriate empathy for things such as anxiety or ADHD diagnosis instead of brushing everything with the same brush. Saying it’s the Alzheimer’s is not ok that are the symptoms, other medication that burns less holes in the brain for depression or didn’t give fake diagnosis when the doctor thought the patient had legit worries but instead informed patients on prevention if nothing turned up on scans. No deigning condition talked about stress being key issues. ...more
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Information for the future

Occasionally I felt that the author was TOO positive, since I have personal experience dealing with frontal temporal dementia and have been a caregiver for an extended period. But it is wonderful to know that there are doctors of this caliber out there even if I've not met them. It was also good to learn about some of the advances in Alzheimer's treatment, should I ever need them.
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Viewing dementia as a spectrum disorder makes so much sense and fits my experience with loved ones affected by dementia. The author is able to present new and useful information.
Robin O'Brien
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow every person and their caregivers should have a doctor like Dr. Devi. She is not only compassionate but is progressive in her treatment options for those suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. She understands how consistency in life helps these victims and provides them with dignity from the time of diagnosis until the day they die.
Michelle H Finnigan
Every family needs to read about dementia

Great storytelling that weaves the issues in a way no one else has shared. There is much more that can be done if we could u understand that every case is unique
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am so thankful the author took the time to write this book! With the baby boomer's aging, it is needed now more than ever. I really enjoyed reading the case studies & how it offers hope as one goes through this journey.
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Upbeat good read.
Great outlook for seniors, not as hopeless as most people think.
Simplifies a complex disease by seeing actual cases..
Carol Turner
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I wish my mom had had Dr Devi, or someone like her, while she was going thru Alzheimer's. This gives me real hope for the future.
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
From a caregiver standpoint, I found this book f ar more helpful (and encouraging) than other, more clinical, treatments on the subject.
Mary M. Dunn
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hope instead of Dispair

After having nothing but waiting for my husband to have something happen, I have hope that we can still enjoy our lives though changed.
Lucinda R Wakeman
rated it really liked it
Feb 08, 2018
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