In Pursuit of Memory

Friday, December 22, 2017, 7:00 pm, 33°F (1°C), Cloudy

In Pursuit of Memory
Book Review – “In Pursuit of Memory – The Fight Against Alzheimer’s.”
  • A very good friend, of many years, and I got re-connected recently. He came to my house a couple of times and I enjoyed his company and our discussion on various topics. During our December 12, meeting, He presented me with a book called “In Pursuit of Memory – The Fight Against Alzheimer’s.”  He also bought one book for himself to read as an exercise in intellectual curiosity.
  • It is written by a British neurologist Joseph Jebelli. It is a riveting biography of the AD. It is written like detective novel, in a Hitchcockian mode.  The murderer here is Alzheimer’s Disease and the author unveils several plots (research on AD being done) to find and arrest him (Alzheimer’s).  Author’s grandfather had AD – Author says, “like a candle burning itself out, his grandfather’s mind faded and vanished.” Te author was 12 years then and decided to pursue Neurosciences to understand Alzheimer’s and hence this book.
  • He touches on several hypotheses and the research projects: beta-amyloid plaques, tangles, Tau, a diabetes type deficiency in glucose processing by the brain, genetics, inflammation and reaction with microbiome, etc.
  • AD is considered taboo in the Asian Societies and Culture (Chinese, Indian, etc.) – invariably, AD is kept private within the family. This type of secrecy is detrimental to Alzheimer’s research as it is difficult to study the Asian patients and collect data. Research shows that turmeric may have beneficial effect for AD.However, only 40% of turmeric eaten is absorbed by the body, 60% is excreted in the stool. Scientist are trying to attach turmeric to Nano particles to significantly increase the absorption rate.
  • Another tidbit - people who get AD have lower risk of developing cancer.  Inversely, if you develop cancer, you are less likely to get AD.  The same hold true for cancer and Parkinson’s and cancer and motor neuron disease.
  • In the UK, AD is number one disease ahead of cancer and heart disease. For people in their twenties, one in three will get AD and one in two will look after someone with AD.  Early detection is very important – it is a case of earlier the better.
  • Remain active and social for as long as possible.  Friends are not luxury, they are necessity.
  • Family should start a private blog, where everyone has their own responsibility to log in and find out for themselves what is going on.
  • The author predict that AD will be solved in 10 years.
I believe this book should be a required reading in the Medical schools, especially, in the Neurology and in Medical Research and Development. Any reader of MJWS with intellectual curiosity will find this book enlightening with respect to knowing everything about AD.  Especially, Dr. Harish Rawal, Neurosurgeon and Dr. Bharat Trivedi, who worked at Pfizer and was member of a team that developed Lipitor may find this book inspiring.  And, of course, it is a must read for Parini and Jasen and others intimately involved in our lives.
I was so impressed that I bought 3 books and took it to our December 20, AD support group so other members can read in rotation.  May be in month or two we can have discussion on this book in our support group
Harishbahi, you may have already read this book.  If not, when you get a chance to read it, I will be interested in knowing your thoughts.