The Forgetting: Understanding Alzheimer’s: A Biography of a Disease Hardcover – 18 Feb 2002
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers also shopped for
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
‘The Forgetting is completely absorbing, fascinating, the best of writing, thought provoking, socially important and imperative to read, with the narrative pull of a well-written murder mystery.’ Amy Tan
‘A poignant portrayal of a dark illness that robs our very soul. Yet Shenk provides a vivid glimpse of the future, how new science may ultimately remedy this devastating malady.’ Jerome Groopman, Harvard Medical School
‘A beautifully rendered portrait of a terrible illness, David Shenk’s book is immensely absorbing and informative, yet also quite touching.’ Todd Feinberg, Yarmon Alzheimer’s Disease Centre
A literary and scientific examination of Alzheimer's disease and the race to find a cure. In 1906, Alois Alzheimer dissected and examined the cerebral cortex of Auguste D's brain and became the first scientist in medical history to link a specific brain pathology to behavioural changes. The disease named after him, turns otherwise active and healthy people into "living ghosts". It is a rare condition for those in their 40s and 50s but 10 per cent of the 65-plus population suffers from it and 50 per cent of the 85-plus age group. It is longevity's revenge and as the baby boom generation drifts into its elderly years the number of Alzheimer's victims is expected to quadruple, making it the fastest-growing disease in developed countries. Shenk's book is an account of the scientists who are working to cure the disease and to understand the links between biology and consciousness. The book is punctuated with personal accounts of famous Alzheimer sufferers - Ronald Reagan, Willem de Kooning and Jonathan Swift - as well as the stories of many less famous victims.Shenk's history of Alzheimer's is grounded by the fundamental belief that memory forms the basis of our selves, our souls, and the meaning in our lives. See all Product description
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Shenk’s narrative reads, as the subtitle suggests, like a well-written biography. By presenting us with fascinating, and often distressing, case studies into the lives of famous figures throughout history as well the equally compelling stories of those much less famous David Shenk encourages us to examine the degenerative effects of the disease, from the first faltering steps of the early stages to it is final devastating end.
The text manages to delve into the neurobiology of the disease, detailing the slow devastating effect that Alzheimer’s has on the brain, and how we have been battling since its first discovery. Shenk manages this in a way that, although simple to understand by those new to the subject, does not feel patronising to the more well versed individual. Shenk manages to expertly integrate many other associated topics including genetic engineering, ancient history, psychology and literary works into this smooth narrative, encouraging the reader to think about Alzheimer’s in a much wider context than before. The short introductions, written by sufferers and carers, which appear at the beginning of each chapter, allow a powerful insight into the minds of those whom Alzheimer’s has touched.
My only problem is that when Shenk is discussing the impact that Alzheimer’s has had on political thinking, this is done through a mainly American viewpoint with little discussion about the rest of the world. However as this is an American text this is to be expected and should not be allowed to detract from the book in any way. This aside Shenk’s book is a truly engrossing masterpiece that should be required reading for anyone who has been in contact with what will surely be one of the most important health, social and political issues of the twenty-first century.