A haunting 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% of the 65+ population suffers from it and 50% of the 85+.
As Adam Phillips writes in his foreword, "This remarkable book will radically change our notions of looking after people and our assumptions about independence. Out of fear of mortality we have idealised health and youth and competence. 'The Forgetting' reminds us among many other things that there is more to life than that."
Shenk's history of Alzheimer's is both poignant and scientific, grounded by the fundamental belief that memory forms the basis of our selves, our souls and the meaning in our lives.