The Myth of Alzheimer's

What You Aren't Being Told About Today's Most Dreaded Diagnosis

Peter J. Whitehouse, M.D., Ph.D., with Daniel George, M.Sc.

St. Martin's Press

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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.

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.

“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. 

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Book Excerpts

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The Myth of Alzheimer's
PART ONETHE HISTORY OF A DISEASEINTRODUCTIONREVEALING THE MYTH OF ALZHEIMER'SIf at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope.--ALBERT EINSTEINWhen we think about myths, we usually think of timeless tales of gods, heroes, and monsters that entertain and enthrall. Since the Enlightenment, mythology has been regarded as the province of more primitive minds--something humanity has moved beyond in its embrace of scientific methodology. But has science been successful in purging contemporary civilization of all myths? I don't believe that it has or likely ever will.

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Reviews

Praise for The Myth of Alzheimer's

“…a thought provoking book that raises important questions about later life cognitive decline and Alzheimer disease. I highly recommend it.”- Peter V. Rabins, M.D., MPH, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, co-author of The 36-Hour Day

“A landmark book. If we read Peter Whitehouse thoughtfully, we’ll never see Alzheimer’s the same way again. Agree or disagree, he has changed the way we need to think about a critical problem in our time.”- Harry R. Moody, Director of Academic Affairs, AARP

"Dr. Peter Whitehouse tackles with courageous candor current myths about "Alzheimer's disease" and offers an alternate, realistic and holistic approach to healthy and dignified aging." -Vladimir Hachinski, MD, FRCPC, DSc Distinguished University Professor University of Western Ontario University Hospital

"This book tells the story of a remarkable journey. Peter Whitehouse describes and interprets the history and meaning of Alzheimer's for our time and in doing so he makes a personal journey as a successful scientist and researcher to question and reappraise his own vales and the meaning of his work." -Harry Cayton, Chief Executive, Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence, Former Chief Executive, Alzheimer's Society UK

“Bold, provocative, and compassionate. Peter Whitehouse tells the fascinating story of Alzheimer’s, and then drafts a new version: embracing the challenge of living with our changing brains, and focusing hope on community, kindness, and humanistic care. This book surely would have helped our family.”- Ann Davidson, author of Alzheimer’s: A Love Story and A Curious Kind of Widow     

“The Myth of Alzheimer’s is an arresting and eminently readable book. This courageous, thoughtful book demands immediate attention.” - Margaret Lock, author of Twice Dead: Organ Transplants and the Reinvention of Death

“This book is of enormous relevance to persons concerned about and struggling with significant changes in cognitive functioning, as well as to family members, caregivers, clinicians, researchers, community program planners, and policy makers.” - Gene D. Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., author of The Mature Mind: The Positive Power of the Aging Brain

“…a penetrating critique of the concept of Alzheimer’s disease and the medical industrial complex that created it and benefits from it. [It is] a book full of profound and practical wisdom to all who are struggling to meet the cosmic and quotidian challenges of dementia.”- Jesse F. Ballenger, Ph.D., author of Self, Senility, and Alzheimer’s Disease in Modern America

“…deliberately provocative, carefully researched, and lovingly rendered.”- Anne Basting, Director, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Center on Age & Community, author of Forget Memory

Finally, from a highly respected, vastly experienced scientist and philosopher, a sane, humane, practical, nonmedical, politically informed-- in other words, revolutionary -- way to understand and live with our aging brains. What a relief! What a treasure!”
- Judith Levine, author of Do You Remember Me?: A Father, a Daughter, and a Search for the Self

“Policy makers, physicians, researchers, lay people, must read this book.” 
- Steven R. Sabat, author of The Experience of Alzheimer's Disease: Life Through a Tangled Veil

With wisdom, honed through years of research and practice, Dr. Whitehouse opens the door to normal aging. Dr. Whitehouse has integrated medical research with practice, guiding the reader towards a wise old age.” -Naomi Feil, executive director, the Validation Training Institute, Inc.

“With an impressive fusion of scientific data and humanistic vision Peter Whitehouse and Danny George successfully challenge the dominant conception of Alzheimer’s disease. Arguing that an AD diagnosis is “scientifically unsound and socially disruptive,” they reframe the way we think, speak and act toward our aging brains and help us imagine a better future for ourselves and our communities. “ - Cathy Greenblat PhD, author of Alive with Alzheimer’s

“Get ready for the fireworks. Peter Whitehouse has fired a shot into the midst of what he calls the Alzheimer's empire - the vast network of people and organizations that collect hundreds of millions in research funds and make billions selling drugs for treating a disease that does not exist. Whitehouse brings to his topic a level of humanism that is reminiscent of Oliver Sacks' writings about patients with cognitive differences from the so-called norm.” - David B. Wolfe, author of Ageless Marketing and co-author of Firms of Endearment

“Peter Whitehouse is very well known in Japan and around the world as a caring clinician and pioneering researcher. In Japan the government and experts have changed the words for dementia (from chi ho to nin shi sho) because we are aware of the negative effects of stigmatizing labels.” - Akira Homma, Chief of Psychiatry, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology and Founder of Japanese Society for Dementia Care

 


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About the Author

Peter J. Whitehouse, M.D., Ph.D., with Daniel George, M.Sc.

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.

Peter J. Whitehouse, M.D.
Daniel George, M.Sc.

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Myth of Alzheimer's
What You Aren't Being Told About Today's Most Dreaded Diagnosis
Peter J. Whitehouse, M.D., Ph.D., with Daniel George, M.Sc.

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
December 2008
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429920711
ISBN10: 1429920718
336 pages, Includes nine black-and-white photographs throughout
$9.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
December 2008
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312368173
ISBN10: 0312368178
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 336 pages, includes 9 black-and-white photographs throughout
$16.99
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