Saturday, November 3, 2012

Brill's "Alzheimer's Disease" for young people

The Marshall Cavendish Corporation has produced a series of books I discovered in substituting in a Plant City middle school. While the media specialist talked with the eighth graders about primary sources, I discovered a secondary source library book. The books in the 616 section of the library by this publisher included: Asthma, Depression, Heart Disease, Juvenile Diabetes, Lung Cancer and Alzheimer ’s Disease.

While the two children’s books I reviewed earlier here (The Memory Box and What's Happening to Grandpa) are helpful, Marlene Targ Brill’s Alzheimer’s Disease is a 2005 copyright book with much helpful information for grades six and older. We need this book to help our young people understand dementia. Mrs. Brill carefully covers the basics of the disease in 57 pages with a glossary, organizations and other references that follow.

Chapter 1 What Is It Like to Have Alzheimer’s Disease? Adam has grandmother with it and Jose’s grandfather has it. This chapter gets the young person into the topic. I do find many young people in middle school and high school are acquainted with Alzheimer's and at times I am able to talk about my husband's illness and the illness of their relatives.

Chapter 2 What is Alzheimer’s Disease? In a simple way Brill explains plaques, tangles, who might get AD, what are warming signs, how is it diagnosed, and what are the stages. This chapter has a picture of an EEG, a CAT scan and an MRI. She does not deal with two areas: 1) dementia distinctions (Alzheimer’s is the most common dementia); and 2) the latest research, although she does hint at studies in chapter four.

Chapter 3 The History of Alzheimer’s Disease. In 1907 German physician Alois Alzheimer was first to discover the disease. The section on new discoveries are not so relevant, but we do need budding young scientists to dream of cures for dementia, cancer and other diseases. Science and medicine can come alive for young people.

Chapter 4 Dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease. Cholinesterase inhibitors are described, but not Namenda. The suggestion is that aspirin might prevent AD. Old information is in the book; for example, ginkgo biloba is heralded:
Studies in the United States have shown that the extract improves thinking, memory, and behavior in people who have AD ( p. 44).
However, this is not true as Science Daily points out here. The moss extract huperzine A and fat from cow brains are also mentioned as possible help. Huperzine A has been used in China for centuries, and I found this resource here. What about fat from cow brains or hospatidylserine? The Mayo Clinic says some about this here.  However, improvements in memory lasted only a few months and were seen in people with the least severe symptoms.

The next sections, “Helping the Person with Alzheimer’s” and “Helping Caregivers” provide general reliable information, but of course more can be added—the benefits of exercise and socialization, for example.

With the exception of the outdated research in chapter four, I highly recommend this book for a young person and hope the publishers will revise it.

On another note, I am considering advertising books I have reviewed here or will review on this blog. Some reviews I already put on Amazon.  Advertisement could help provide income for a blog that I work hard at providing as I take this Alzheimer's journey with my husband and with others. What do you think, gentle reader? Feedback needed. Thanks. Advertise?

Also, thanks to you all who helped support the team I was on for today's November 3, 2012 Alzheimer's Association Walk around Lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland, Florida. Funds will still be collected on this blog for two more weeks. You can contribute with the link at the top right until November 17th.

If you have "liked" Plant City Lady and Friends on Facebook (top right), you can see pictures of my facilitator "Ann" and our friends "Sally and Jake" and my husband and myself.

1 comment:

  1. Alzheimer's disease has a tremendous impact at any age. With new treatment its more important than ever that you recognize early symptoms and get help as soon as possible.

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