An Ocean of Time: Alzheimer's : Tales of Hope and Forgetting

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Scribner, 1997 - Medical - 221 pages
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These images of Alzheimer's - forgetting, madness, nursing homes - frighten us, make us want to walk the other way. But geriatric psychiatrist Patrick Mathiasen wants us to know that his images have slowly changed as he's worked around the edges of this "thief of memory." Where he once saw no more than the shell of a body, he now sees lives that have unfolded. And amid the undeniable sadness and difficulty, he encounters hope and humor and caring. Dr. Mathiasen's patients tell his story, beginning with the earliest signs of the disease and passing through its stages right up to the end. And we meet a fascinating array of patients: a man who has taken pleasant refuge within his memories of playing baseball during his boyhood in pre-Castro Cuba; an art collector whose meticulous journal begins to make less and less sense as he falls into waters where his memories run together like ink on a page; two sons whose lifelong enmity for one another is put aside as they address themselves to their mother's need for them and for their love. An Ocean of Time also offers insight into the science informing the treatment of Alzheimer's: how the diagnosis is made, how Alzheimer's often masquerades as severe clinical depression, and what promising research is being done in the field.

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AN OCEAN OF TIME: Alzheimer's: Tales of Hope and Forgetting

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Alzheimer's patient Louise Billings's monotonous, ``Little do you know, little do you know,'' seems an apt complaint, for as this small collection of sketchy anecdotes shows, doctors know too little ... Read full review


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