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Books, Journals, New Media
November 13, 2002

Alzheimer Disease

Author Affiliations

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.

JAMA. 2002;288(18):2339. doi:10.1001/jama.288.18.2339

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.

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