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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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Gillian on 04-16-17
A Cover-to-Cover Slug in the Gut, but Inspiring
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...
12 of 17 people found this review helpful
By Anonymous User on 08-19-17
Captivating for those with a personal connection
I am a family survivor of Alzheimer's disease, a healthcare provider who has dedicated my work to treating people with dementia and educating those who care for them, and now a teacher of others who want to bring hope to a generation facing this awful disease. I found this full of both clinical and personal information that truly cast AD in the prominent light it needs to find a cure.