Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet
S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University
of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor; adviser
for new media, Robert Hogan, MD, San Diego.
In Losing my Mind, Thomas DeBaggio, a 57-year-old
writer, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer disease. This event begins his "project":
to write his autobiography. Uniquely, the disease will affect the very memories
he longs to put to paper.
I was surprised at how effectively the style and structure of DeBaggio's
book awoke in me new thoughts and ideas about a disease that I specialize
in and diagnose on a regular basis.
DeBaggio intermixes present events, such as the medical work up, neuropsychological
testing, and the diagnosis by the physician, with past memories. He provides
accurate medical updates at appropriate points throughout in support of thematic
material. As a physician, I was most appreciative of this multilayered approach,
which presents Alzheimer disease broadly, from the standpoints of patient
and family, physician, and research community.
Aggarwal N. Alzheimer Disease. JAMA. 2002;288(18):2339. doi:10.1001/jama.288.18.2339