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Narrative Medicine Rounds: Optimistic Perspectives on Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias by Dr. Gayatri Devi
February 7, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
“No Stranger in The Mirror: Optimistic Perspectives on Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias,” a talk by Gayatri Devi
For our first rounds in 2018, we welcome Dr. Gayatri Devi, a neurologist and graduate of the Narrative Medicine program at Columbia, who will speak about her book The Spectrum of Hope: An Optimistic and New Approach to Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias (Workman, 2017).
Imagine finding a glimmer of good news in a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. And imagine how that would change the outlook of the 5 million Americans who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, not to mention their families, loved ones, and caretakers. A neurologist who’s been specializing in dementia and memory loss for more than 20 years, Dr. Gayatri Devi rewrites the story of Alzheimer’s by defining it as a spectrum disorder—like autism, Alzheimer’s is a disease that affects different people differently. She encourages people who are worried about memory impairment to seek a diagnosis, because early treatment will enable doctors and caregivers to manage the disease more effectively through drugs and other therapies.
Told through the stories of Dr. Devi’s patients, The Spectrum of Hope is the kind of narrative medical writing that grips the reader, humanizes the science, and offers equal parts practical advice and wisdom with skillful ease. There are chapters on how to maintain independence and dignity; how to fight depression, anxiety, and apathy; how to communicate effectively with a person suffering from dementia. Plus chapters on sexuality, genetics, going public with the diagnosis, even putting together a bucket list—because through her practice, Dr. Devi knows that the majority of Alzheimer’s patients continue to live and work in their communities.
Gayatri Devi, MD, MS, FACP, FAAN, is Director of the New York Memory and Healthy Aging Services and an attending physician at Lenox Hill Hospital/Northwell Health and a Clinical Professor of Neurology at Downstate Medical Center. She is a board certified neurologist, with additional board certifications in Pain Medicine, Psychiatry, and Behavioral Neurology, and she served on the faculty of New York University’s School of Medicine as Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry until 2015. She is the author of over 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals on the topic of memory loss, as well as the books Estrogen, Memory and Menopause, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Alzheimer’s Disease, and A Calm Brain. She lives and practices in New York City.