This book offers a measure of hope and coping strategies for people facing Alzheimer's now or in the future. The authors propose the creation of community centers devoted to Alzheimer's. Here patients and their families could access programs of care, treatment, and most importantly, prevention, outside of the traditional medical setting. They outline a bold vision of one-stop centers that would provide expertise and reliable information on a range of topics: pharmaceutical developments, dietary regimens, physical and cognitive exercise programs that may help to slow the disease process, and palliative measures to reduce suffering. Most important, the centers they describe would take a family-oriented, personalized approach to care and prevention, creating an atmosphere conducive to adult learning and facilitating personal growth in areas that patients have enjoyed over a lifetime, including the arts, dance, socializing, and a host of other possibilities. The authors explain why the current healthcare system is poorly equipped to deal with Alzheimer patients, why the standard medical model is inappropriate for cognitive disorders, how market economics stymies physician creativity, and how new initiatives that work outside the existing system could go a long way toward providing the help that is lacking today. For people prepared to take action now to prevent Alzheimer's, as well as healthcare professionals seeking ways to help their patients, this book is a must read.
Kenneth S. Kosik, MD (Santa Barbara, CA), is the Harriman Chair in Neurosciences, co-director of the Neuroscience Research Institute, and professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Previously, Dr. Kosik was professor of neurology and neuroscience at Harvard Medical School. Ellen Clegg (Boston, MA) is Managing Editor for Communications Platforms at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, a genetic research center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Previously, she was Deputy Managing Editor/News Operations of the Boston Globe. Her prior positions at the Globe include Sunday editor and health and science editor. She is the author of ChemoBrain: How Cancer Therapies Can Affect Your Mind.