Selected Abstracts of Articles from Our Faculty and Staff

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There are numerous books available on the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, the history of the disease, and the research being conducted to combat it. Here are just a few selections. Not only can reading these books bring you closer to understanding the disease, studies suggest that reading and keeping your mind active may help protect you from developing AD. So grab a book and start that reading!

On Alzheimer’s Disease

  • "The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers" by Daniel Schacter; published by Houghton Mifflin, 2001. Harvard University's Psychology Department Chairman Daniel L. Schacter explains the idea of memory loss in his own unique terms: the Seven Sins of Memory. This book offers an interesting perspective into the world of memory research while still being accessible to the non-scientist reader.
  • "The Forgetting: Alzheimer’s Portrait of an Epidemic" by David Shenk; published by Anchor Books, 2003. In an attempt to uncover the origins of the disease, journalist David Shenk travels through history to explain the clinical findings of German neurologist Alois Alzheimer. Shenk’s journey takes him all the way back to the time of Plato, who chronicled his own senility. Shenk also introduces the world of current Alzheimer’s research.

Caring for Someone With Alzheimer’s Disease

  • "The 36 Hour Day" by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins; published by Warner Books, 1991; revised 2001. This book produced by two members of Johns Hopkins University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, offers basic facts about dementia and how to deal with the disease as a caregiver.
  • "Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s" by Joanne Koenig Coste; published by Houghton Mifflin, 2003. The author, now a pioneer in methods of caregiving for AD patients, began to develop her approach as she cared for her husband, diagnosed with progressive dementia in his middle years. Koenig Coste calls her approach to caregiving “habilitation,” and advocates caregivers joining patients in whatever current sense of place or time makes the patient most comfortable.

Personal Accounts of Alzheimer’s Disease

  • "Love is Ageless: Stories About Alzheimer’s Disease (2nd Edition)" edited by Jessica Bryan; published by Lompico Creek Press, 2002. Combining various experiences expressed in poetry and prose, editor Jessica Bryan has developed a touching, heartfelt book about how Alzheimer’s disease affects its victims and their loved ones.
  • "Losing My Mind: An Intimate Look at Life with Alzheimer’s" by Thomas DeBaggio; published by Touchstone Books, 2003. In this unusual memoir, the author chronicles his own mental deterioration. He describes a gradual loss of memory that starts with his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease at the age of fifty-seven.
  • "The Story of My Father" by Sue Miller, published by Knopf, 2003. In her first nonfiction book, novelist Sue Miller contemplates the nature of memory as she watches her father navigate his last years with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • "The House on Beartown Road: A Memoir of Learning and Forgetting" by Elizabeth Cohen Van Pelt, published by Random House, 2003. This memoir describes the author’s struggle to simultaneously raise a baby girl and care for her father in the later stages of his Alzheimer’s disease. The challenges of caring for both a small child and a victim of Alzheimer’s disease provoke surprising and moving comparisons as the author observes her daughter’s growth and her father’s decline.

Fiction Portraying Alzheimer’s Disease

"Out of Mind" by J Bernalf; published by David R. Godine, 1989. This work of fiction depicts the world of Maarten, a Dutch man who endured the Nazi Occupation of Holland and now faces the very different struggle of Alzheimer’s disease. Bernalf’s first-person narrative technique gives an insider’s portrayal of the deterioration of a mind.

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