Cover image for In pursuit of memory : the fight against Alzheimer's
In pursuit of memory : the fight against Alzheimer's

Fight against Alzheimer's
In pursuit of memory : the fight against Alzheimer's
Personal Author:
First North American edition.
Publisher Info:
New York : Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc., 2017.
Physical Description:
xv, 301 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Preface: 'A peculiar disease' -- Author's note -- Origins. The psychiatrist with a microscope ; Understanding an epidemic ; A medicine for memory -- Research. Diagnosis ; The Alzheimer's gene ; The science behind the headlines ; The second brain ; Swedish brain power -- Prevention. Stress ; Diet ; Exercise ; Brain training ; Sleep -- Experimentation. Regeneration ; Young blood ; Seeds of dementia ; Looking but not seeing ; Between the devil and the deep blue sea -- Discovery. To the ends of the earth ; Insights from India ; Clues from Colombia ; Alzheimer's legacy -- Coda.
Alzheimer's is the great global epidemic of our time, affecting millions worldwide. Jebelli, a neuroscientist, takes us behind the headlines and into his quest from nineteenth-century Germany and post-war England through America, India, China, Iceland, Sweden, and Colombia. Researchers are changing the way we think about the disease, but until a cure is found Jebelli provides an eye-opening guide to the threat one in three of us faces now.


Call Number
Material Type
616.8311 JEBE New or Popular Book Adult Nonfiction

On Order



For readers of Atul Gawande, Siddhartha Mukherjee, and Henry Marsh, a riveting, gorgeously written biography of one of history's most fascinating and confounding diseases--Alzheimer's--from its discovery more than 100 years ago to today's race towards a cure.




Alzheimer's is the great global epidemic of our time, affecting millions worldwide -- there are more than 5 million people diagnosed in the US alone. And as our population ages, scientists are working against the clock to find a cure.

Neuroscientist Joseph Jebelli is among them. His beloved grandfather had Alzheimer's and now he's written the book he needed then -- a very human history of this frightening disease. But In Pursuit of Memory is also a thrilling scientific detective story that takes you behind the headlines. Jebelli's quest takes us from nineteenth-century Germany and post-war England, to the jungles of Papua New Guinea and the technological proving grounds of Japan; through America, India, China, Iceland, Sweden, and Colombia. Its heroes are scientists from around the world -- many of whom he's worked with -- and the brave patients and families who have changed the way that researchers think about the disease.

This compelling insider's account shows vividly why Jebelli feels so hopeful about a cure, but also why our best defense in the meantime is to understand the disease. In Pursuit of Memory is a clever, moving, eye-opening guide to the threat one in three of us faces now.

Author Notes

Joseph Jebelli, PhD, obtained his doctorate in Neurobiology from the Insitute of Neurology, University College London. His research focuses on the cell biology of Alzheimer's disease. He lives in the United Kingdom.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

The struggle to cure a cruel and increasingly common disease leads down intricate pathways of scientific discovery in this fascinating primer. Neuroscientist Jebelli recalls his grandfather's decline from Alzheimer's disease and meets other victims of the neurodegenerative illness, projected to become the second leading cause of death by 2050. He describes Alzheimer's progression from forgetfulness to a loss of personality and inability to recognize family members to comprehensive mental failure, with sufferers unable to speak or even swallow. But the book's heart is his account of scientists' efforts to understand Alzheimer's, from its mysterious telltale clusters of beta-amyloid protein to its hereditary underpinnings. In addition to specialists, Jebelli visits families whose tragically high rates of Alzheimer's led to the identification of genetic mutations that cause the disease. The saga is full of hopeful-and frustrating-turns as ingenious new research suggests potential treatments that prove effective in mice but disappointing in humans. One promising, if ghoulish, approach is to transfuse plasma from young people into old, which seems to have remarkable restorative effects; alas, there's too little young blood available to treat most Alzheimer's cases. Jebelli's exploration of the vexed science of Alzheimer's is lucid and emotionally rich in its portrayal of those who investigate the illness and those who endure it. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Preface: 'A Peculiar Disease'p. ix
Author's Notep. xvii
Part I Origins
1 The Psychiatrist with a Microscopep. 3
2 Understanding an Epidemicp. 15
3 A Medicine for Memoryp. 24
Part II Research
4 Diagnosisp. 43
5 The Alzheimer's Genep. 57
6 The Science Behind the Headlinesp. 69
7 The Second Brainp. 80
8 Swedish Brain Powerp. 92
Part III Prevention
9 Stressp. 109
10 Dietp. 113
11 Exercisep. 117
12 Brain Trainingp. 121
13 Sleepp. 128