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Concepts of Alzheimer Disease

, 344 pages

13 halftones, 4 line drawings

May 2003



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Concepts of Alzheimer Disease

Biological, Clinical, and Cultural Perspectives

As the essays in this volume show, conceptualizing dementia has always been a complex process. With contributions from noted professionals in psychiatry, neurology, molecular biology, sociology, history, ethics, and health policy, Concepts of Alzheimer Disease looks at the ways in which Alzheimer disease has been defined in various historical and cultural contexts.

The book covers every major development in the field, from the first case described by Alois Alzheimer in 1907 through groundbreaking work on the genetics of the disease. Essays examine not only the prominent role that biomedical and clinical researchers have played in defining Alzheimer disease, but also the ways in which the perspectives of patients, their caregivers, and the broader public have shaped concepts.

Peter J. Whitehouse, M.D., Ph.D., is a professor of neurology, psychiatry, neuroscience, psychology, nursing, organizational behavior, and biomedical ethics at the Fairhill Center for Aging, Case Western Reserve University, and a founding director of the Alzheimer Center at the University Hospitals of Cleveland. Konrad Maurer, M.D., Ph.D., is a professor in and head of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, and director of the Clinic for Psychiatry, at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University. Jesse F. Ballenger, Ph.D., is a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of the History of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University.

"The first sentence of this excellent book sums up both its content and the reason one should read it: 'it is ironic that the professional and popular discourse surrounding Alzheimer disease (AD), whose most dreadful feature is the obliteration of memory, proceeds with little awareness of its past.' And if Santayana's often-quoted statement about those who cannot remember the past is true, what does this mean for studies of dementia? This book attempts to answer the question and does so very successfully."

"This book will be an inspiration of greatest interest to anyone engaged in biological or social research in AD."

"This is an excellent book, both for the newcomer to the study of Alzheimer disease and to the seasoned reader and clinician."

"This overview of the history and evolution of the concept of Alzheimer disease is a substantial contribution that will interest readers in gerontology, geriatrics, neurology, psychiatry, psychology, social science, and public policy. It is a good introductory book for people new to the field, as well as for clinicians and even for family members of those affected by Alzheimer disease."

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