January 20, 2010

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:37 pm by lbrosch

Lisa Genova who has a Ph.D in neuroscience has written a fictional account of what it is like for a Harvard woman professor to find out that she has early onset Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 50. This woman main character is an accomplished cognitive psychology professor with a long respected career in teaching, research, publishing and presentation at conferences worldwide. She suddenly finds herself lost in her neighborhood one day while out jogging. The story deals with her own feelings at facing the diagnosis as well as the reaction of her husband and three grown children. All the varying facets of human emotion are displayed as each character deals with the diagnosis differently. Lisa Genova did a great deal of research through interviews with Alzheimer’s patients at varying degrees of their illness as well as the latest developments on drugs and treatment plans for the disease. Although this story is heartwrenching it is an important book for people to read especially if they are dealing with this disease with a loved one or think they may have to in the future. I found it difficult to read because I have lost both my father and uncle to the disease in the last 5 years. I myself have a good chance of developing the disease. I did find the book to offer hope in that more recent developments in treatment of the disease may delay the loss of memory to the extent that was revealed in the story. More importantly, for those who may be starting down the road of dealing with a loved one’s memory loss it helps you to understand what is happening to the person who is going through the disease and feel empathy with their confused state of mind and understand some of their feelings and responses.

For more information on Alzheimer’s disease check out their website at http://www.alz.org/index.asp.

Wollstonecraft’s Daughters will be discussing this book at their next book discussion for Sunday, February 21 at 10 AM. This discussion will take place at  OuterWorld Landscapes,
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Subbarao/135/202/43

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