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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Problem of Alzheimer's

The Problem of Alzheimer's

How Science, Culture, and Politics Turned a Rare Disease into a Crisis and What We Can Do About It

Jason Karlawish

St. Martin's Press

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The Problem of Alzheimer's is a comprehensive and revelatory book on one of today's most prevalent illnesses.

In 2019, 5.8 million Americans had Alzheimer's, and more than half a million will die of Alzheimer's disease dementia. 16 million caregivers are responsible for paying as much as half of the $226 billion annual costs of their care. As more people live beyond their seventies and eighties, the number of patients will rise to an estimated 13.8 million by 2025.

Part case studies, part meditation on the past, present and future of the disease, The Problem of Alzheimer's traces the disease from its discovery and tells the story of the biomedical breakthroughs that may allow it to finally be prevented and treated by medicine. While it is a scathing indictment of our health care system, it is also an argument for how we can live with dementia; the ways patients can reclaim their autonomy and redefine their sense of self, how families can support their loved ones, and the innovative reforms we can make as a society that would give caregivers and patients better quality of life.

Rich in science, history, and characters, The Problem of Alzheimer's takes us inside cutting edge laboratories, patients' homes, caregivers' support groups, progressive assisted living facilities, and Jason Karlawish's own practice at the Penn Memory Center.

Jason Karlawish

JASON KARLAWISH is a physician and writer. He researches and writes about issues at the intersections of bioethics, aging, and the neurosciences. He is the author of the novel Open Wound: The Tragic Obsession of Dr. William Beaumont and his essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes and the Philadelphia Inquirer. He is a Professor of Medicine, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, and Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania and Co-Director of the Penn Memory Center, where he cares for patients. He lives in Philadelphia.

St. Martin's Press

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