Our blog post on the best blogs and online resources for Alzheimer’s has generated a lot of great feedback and we’re excited to have some new sites to share with our readers.
Perhaps the most profound website challenging the conventions of Alzheimer’s disease is TheMythofAlzheimers.com — “What you aren’t being told about today’s most dreaded diagnosis.”
TheMythofAlzheimers.com is a web site based on the book written by internationally-acclaimed Alzheimer’s expert Peter Whitehouse, MD, Ph.D, and his co-author, Daniel George, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor at The Penn State College of Medicine.
Both the book and the blog are focused on stripping away the myths and misconceptions about Alzheimer’s and combating the fear, dread and paranoia associated with the disease.
So what are the myths? Whitehouse and George argue that Alzheimer’s is more of a social construct symbolizing our fear of aging than it is a singular disease. It represents our culture’s attempt to make sense of a natural process of aging that has defied the best efforts of modern science and medicine to diagnosis accurately, let alone treat or cure. In fact, they argue that what we call Alzheimer’s is not a singular disease but a complex set of conditions associated with normal aging. Even in an autopsy it is not possible to differentiate the signs of Alzheimer’s disease from normal brain aging.
Their conclusion? The idea that Alzheimer’s is a specific disease that can ever be cured is the biggest myth of all. To “cure” Alzheimer’s we will first have to “cure” aging and death itself. Instead, we need to liberate ourselves from the crippling mental illness label of Alzheimer’s and learn “how to best approach memory loss in ourselves and in others while preserving, and even enhancing, quality of life.”
The Myth of Alzheimer’s is a bold and direct challenge to the multi-billion dollar juggernaut that is the status quo of Alzheimer’s thinking, marketing and research. It’s an alternative approach seeking to humanize the way we think about brain aging and strengthen the care and solidarity provided to people affected by memory loss.
This is what we call “changing aging”.
Below is a brief introduction to The Myth of Alzheimer’s. I highly recommend checking out the site, the book and joining the conversation on their blog.