The Problem of Alzheimer's: How Science, Culture, and Politics Turned a Rare Disease into a Crisis and What We Can Do About It

February 23, 2021
The Problem of Alzheimer's: How Science, Culture, and Politics Turned a Rare Disease into a Crisis and What We Can Do About It

A definitive and compelling book on one of today's mostprevalent illnesses.In 2020, an estimated 5.8 million Americans had Alzheimer’s, andmore than half a million died because of the disease and itsdevastating complications. 16 million caregivers are responsiblefor paying as much as half of the $226 billion annual costs oftheir care. As more people live beyond their seventies andeighties, the number of patients will rise to an estimated 13.8million by 2025.Part case studies, part meditation on the past, present andfuture of the disease, The Problem of Alzheimer's tracesAlzheimer’s from its beginnings to its recognition as a crisis.While it is an unambiguous account of decades of missedopportunities and our health care systems’ failures to take action,it tells the story of the biomedical breakthroughs that may allowAlzheimer’s to finally be prevented and treated by medicine andalso presents an argument for how we can live with dementia: theways patients can reclaim their autonomy and redefine their senseof self, how families can support their loved ones, and theinnovative reforms we can make as a society that would givecaregivers and patients better quality of life.Rich in science, history, and characters, The Problem ofAlzheimer's takes us inside laboratories, patients' homes,caregivers’ support groups, progressive care communities, and JasonKarlawish's own practice at the Penn Memory Center.