Andrew Kertesz (Author)
The subject of this book is a stranger than fiction change in personality, behaviors and relationships including the gradual loss of language and the meaning of words occurring in middle age.
These are stories about a relatively little known illness in middle age, that happens to be much more common than it is generally recognized. The exact cause remains a puzzle as with many other afflictions of the nervous system. but we are beginning to understand its anatomy, genetics, and biology. It is presently classified as one of the so-called “degenerative diseases” of the brain, progressively eroding either behaviors, professionals who diagnose and treat mental or neurological disease, and the caregivers who sometimes suffer as much as the patients if not more.
Technical jargon is avoided or explained when necessary. The stories are all factual, and each is chosen to represent one of the typical behaviors, but many of these are shared and reoccur throughout. The book can be read as a collection of neurological tales similar to Oliver Sacks’ fascinating stories or as a case based guide for the puzzling phenomenology of Frontotemporal dementia, containing much clinical and scientific information.
Nineteen lives are chronicled as told by caregivers, each selected for the drama and strangeness of behavior or cognition. In each chapter the biology of the underlying brain disorder and the social and cultural aspects of the behavior change is explored. There is a special chapter: “Tips for caregivers” and three final chapters dealing with the biology, the genetics and pharmacology of the disease in lay terms. References, footnotes and glossary provide additional, but optional information.
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