Health Team

Book Lays Out 'Action Plan' for Alzheimer's Patients

Two Duke University experts give their advice on how to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease if it's caught in the early stages.

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DURHAM, N.C. — A pair of Duke University experts hope that a new book will be able to help Alzheimer's sufferers and their families find good information early the progress of the disease.

Psychiatrist Dr. Murali Doraiswamy and Lisa Gwyther, with Duke Family Support Program, teamed up to author The Alzheimer's Action Plan.

They wanted to create an alternate source of information to the often-bewildering facts on the Internet.

"We wrote this book in order to provide an action plan so that people can get the best possible diagnosis and care at the earliest stages of Alzheimer's," Doraiswamy said.

"People can go the Internet, and they can be overwhelmed by information that isn't relevant to their first source," Gwyther said.

Mary Davis turned to the Internet's multiplicity of sources when her husband, Bob, was diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer's. The couple was in their early retirement years.

"You know, there's a lot of frustration in the beginning," Mary Davis said.

The Alzheimer's Action Plan includes information about reliable Web sites, how to get an accurate diagnosis and the latest research.

The book is geared toward early-stage patients, the authors said, because new research shows certain practices can slow the progression of the disease.

"There are many things that you can influence through diet, through exercise and through healthy eating habits," Doraiswamy.

Bob Davis said doing math puzzles helps him keep an active mind. "I eat them up, which is kind of amazing," he said.

"He has problems with memories, but as far as being himself, he's still himself," Mary Davis said.

The Alzheimer's Action Plan is widely available in most bookstores.

More information about the disease is available from the Alzheimer's Association.


Allen Mask, M.D., Reporter
Rick Armstrong, Photographer
Anne Johnson, Web Editor

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