The University of Wisconsin Press

Health / Self-Help / Alzheimer's


Pathways of Hope
Living Well with Cognitive Changes
Edited by Christine Baum Van Ryzin, Mary Kay Baum, and Rosann Baum Milius
Foreword by Craig S. Atwood, Ph.D.

“I want to help doctors, caregivers, and persons with Alzheimer’s disease to understand that this diagnosis is not necessarily a rapid death sentence.”
—Charley Schneider

“I now have test results and a neurologist saying I’m improving my health! I hope others will pay attention to supplements [to medications], herbs, nutrition, exercise, mental stimulation, and environment as ways to better health.”
—Karen Waterhouse

This small but powerful book offers personal stories and important insights and information shared by twelve people facing early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and/or other neurodegenerative disorders. “Early-onset” means that symptoms appear before age sixty-five, usually when people are in their forties or fifties, but some as young as age thirty-five. The book is a project of the support network forMemory, a group that connects individuals and their families affected by early-onset Alzheimer’s and related diseases. Its aim is to increase emotional, spiritual, and physical wellbeing through actively and aggressively seeking ways toward prevention, slowing, and healing.

The editors of this book, Christine Baum Van Ryzin, Mary Kay Baum, and Rosann Baum Milius, are sisters who saw their mother and aunt struggle for years with cognitive and physical decline, in an era when very little was known about symptoms, causes, and treatment for dementia and other cognitive impairments. In turn, each of the three Baum sisters has experienced symptoms and diagnosis of early-onset cognitive changes.

Christine was affected first. Following ten years of undiagnosed memory problems, tremors, weakness, and personality changes, and another four years of decline after diagnosis, she—in partnership with her physician—began to learn ways to heal through a combination of medical and holistic mind-body-spirit approaches. She has achieved a remarkable, steady improvement—not a cure, but a way to regain quality of life and live well with limitations. Christine’s experiences were an enormous aid to her sisters when they, too, began to experience their symptoms of cognitive changes.

Christine Baum Van Ryzin retired from her family-owned retail shop, Galaxy Science and Hobby Center, in Appleton, Wisconsin. Mary Kay Baum has retired from several careers as a community organizer, lawyer, public servant, Lutheran minister, and director of a nonprofit social justice ministry; she lives in Dodgeville, Wisconsin. Rosann Baum Milius retired recently after a career as a senior manager with a multinational corporation and many years of volunteer service on the board of a museum; she lives in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Distributed for forMemory

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September 2011
72 pp.   7 x 10   82 color photos

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Paper $18.00 t
ISBN 978-0-9761336-3-6
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Distributed for forMemory


• In addition to personal accounts, Pathways of Hope shares important information about early symptoms, exercise and physical capacity, dietary considerations, environmental exposures and toxins, integrative medicine, healing interactions with the natural world, suggestions for advocacy. Also included is an extensive list of publications, online resources, and organizations that focus on Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.



“Our goals are to replace aloneness with hope, replace fear with knowledge, replace disease with life, and replace silence with a united voice.”


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Updated August 30, 2011

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