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The End of Memory

The End of Memory

The End of Memory: A Natural History of Aging and Alzheimer’s by Jay Ingram

Summary: It is a wicked disease that robs its victims of their memories, their ability to think clearly, and ultimately their lives. For centuries, those afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease have suffered its debilitating effects while family members sit by, watching their loved ones disappear a little more each day until the person they used to know is gone forever. The disease was first described by German psychologist and neurologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906. One hundred years and a great deal of scientific effort later, much more is known about Alzheimer’s, but it still affects millions around the world, and there is no cure in sight.

In The End of Memory, award-winning science author Jay Ingram writes a biography of this disease that attacks the brains of patients. He charts the history of the disease from before it was noted by Alois Alzheimer through to the twenty-first century, explains the fascinating science of plaques and tangles, recounts the efforts to understand and combat the disease, and introduces us to the passionate researchers who are working to find a cure.

An illuminating biography of “the plague of the twenty-first century” and scientists’ efforts to understand and, they hope, prevent it, The End of Memory is a book for those who want to find out the true story behind an affliction that courses through families and wreaks havoc on the lives of millions.

Angie’s Comments: The End of Memory is an engaging look at the enemy, with a brief history of disease from the ancients to the discovery by Alzheimer in 1906. Most of the book, however, is devoted to the science of Alzheimer. Ingram presents a nice overview for the layperson about Alzheimer’s disease, its presentation, and its effect on the brain. He discusses some of the experiments and papers on Alzheimer’s and the current scientific understanding of the disease.

Ingram makes it easy to understand the science behind Alzheimer’s, and he is good at highlighting the different opinions and ideas that scientists have about the disease. After reading this book, while I still shudder at the thought of myself developing Alzheimer’s, I am more familiar with what Alzheimer’s is.

Recommended for people interested in the science of Alzheimer’s.