An urgent and moving exploration of the Alzheimer's epidemic, The Forgetting is a dazzling meditation on the nature of memory and self and on the disease that robs people of both.
Alzheimer's disease is a demographic time bomb.
According to Shenk, Alzheimer's disease is reaching epidemic proportions and could affect as many as 15 million Americans by the year 2050. Over the next fifty years, some 80 to 100 million people worldwide may succumb to it. Shenk's compelling book traces the history of Alzheimer's from its first diagnosis in 1901, and it chronicles the latest scientific discoveries that may eventually lead to its cure. The author includes the stories of not only Alzheimer's patients but also the families and caregivers whose lives have been affected, sometimes devastated, by it. Along the way, Shenk mentions a number of famous figures, including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Ronald Reagan, who have been victimized by the debilitating affliction. But The Forgetting is more than a record of Alzheimer's; it is an interesting study of how scientists are feverishly working and sometimes battling one another to find a cure.