BOOK REVIEW. The Spectrum of Hope: An Optimistic and New Approach to Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias by Gayatri Devi, MD

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  • March 11, 2018

AMWA past president, Dr. Gayatri Devi, published her book “The Spectrum of Hope: an Optimistic and New Approach to Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias” in October of 2017.

Below is a book review written by Taylor Marie Stevens.

The Spectrum of Hope Book Review

In “The Spectrum of Hope: an Optimistic and New Approach to Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias,” Dr. Gayatri Devi paints a unique picture of what it really means to be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and it is a surprisingly uplifting perspective. She does this through a series of touching personal vignettes in which she shares the struggles and the joys her patients have faced. Throughout the book we meet many different patients and caregivers and learn that the clinical picture of an Alzheimer’s patient is usually not the “shell of a person” popularized by the media and stories of worst-case scenarios. In fact, after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, the vast majority of people can continue to work or participate in some way as contributing members of society for a number of years. As the title implies, Dr. Devi also makes a significant effort to explain how variable the disease is, that it indeed exists on a spectrum. Alzheimer’s can present with either a slow- or rapidly-progressive disease course. Language, life, and memory skills can all be retained or impaired to different degrees. We are given a representative sample of patients all along the spectrum throughout the book. She includes the much more typical stories of highly functional patients as well as the more sobering, rapidly progressive cases.

“The Spectrum of Hope” should appeal to a wide audience of people. Dr. Devi does not assume that her readers have any significant knowledge about Alzheimer’s or medicine generally, making it an easy and informative read for anyone. I would highly recommend this book to everyone who has any level of interest in dementia, as well as anyone who thinks they may be suffering from cognitive decline and especially to the caregivers or loved ones of people suffering from dementia. Physicians of all specialties could also benefit from reading Dr. Devi’s book, which demonstrates a style of care that is compassionate and patient-centered, while also looking out for the wellbeing of the caregivers and of herself.

 

Dr. Devi’s book is available for purchase on Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble, and other book sellers. Click here to purchase on Amazon. 

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