Every 69 seconds, someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Of the top 10 killers, it is the only disease for which there is no cure or treatment. For most people, there is nothing that they can do to fight back. But one family is doing all they can.
The DeMoe family has the most devastating form of the disease that there is: early onset Alzheimer's, an inherited genetic mutation that causes the disease in 100 percent of cases, and has a 50 percent chance of being passed onto the next generation. Of the six DeMoe children whose father had it, five have inherited the gene; the sixth, Karla, has inherited responsibility for all of them.
But rather than give up in the face of such news, the DeMoes have agreed to spend their abbreviated years as part of a worldwide study that could utterly change the landscape of Alzheimer's research and offers the brightest hope for future treatments - and possibly a cure.
Drawing from several years of in-depth research with this charming and upbeat family, journalist Niki Kapsambelis tells the story of Alzheimer's through the humanizing lens of these ordinary people made extraordinary by both their terrible circumstances and their bravery.
©2017 Niki Kapsambelis (P)2017 Tantor
"In her debut, journalist Kapsambelis builds a compelling narrative about Alzheimer's disease around one North Dakota extended family...An educational and emotional chronicle that should resonate with a wide variety of readers." (Kirkus)
SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!
We currently have this devastating illness in the family, so "The Inheritance" hit close to home. My husband has it on both sides of the family, things aren't looking good; how do you live your life with something like that looming on your own horizon?
The book is filled with cutting edge science, very human people suffering yet living with a sense of duty, if not hope. It's an utterly courageous book, from doctors and scientists, to victims and loved ones, from those on the sidelines to those ultimately condemned to a death in the fetal position.
One of the things I liked most about the book is that it shows Alzheimer's as something where there's hope for treatment, something unthinkable earlier on, and something I was totally unaware of. There are studies galore, the stories of brilliant and lucky research, of scientists who fail a million times but who pick themselves up, tweak their thinking, plug in the numbers for that millionth and first (modest) success.
And through it all, are the utterly captivating DeMoes who struggle and hope, who have the courage to live another day in the name of love, hope, and science. You get to know each to them, and it's a heartbreaking listen.
At times tough to listen to but always inspiring, "The Inheritance" is a book I'll be listening to again and again.
It's amazing what you can do if you get just five extra years...
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