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“What a party!”  Not the typical words you would expect to find at the beginning of a book on the challenging topic of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  But these are the words that come to mind when I think about my Great-Uncle Bob, who was the first person in my life to be diagnosed with the disease.  Uncle Bob was always happy, smiling, telling jokes, and was by far, always the life of the party.  Alzheimer’s first robbed him of his short term memory, and then later his ability to care for himself, but I won’t let his disease cloud my own memories of what an incredible person he was to me. 

 

Uncle Bob not only introduced my mom and dad, but several years later he again had a profound effect on my life.  When I was three years old at a pool party at my Aunt’s house, I fell into the pool and disappeared under the water.  Both instinctively, and immediately, Uncle Bob jumped in to save me.  It goes without saying that for several reasons, I appreciate all he did to get (and keep) me here today!

 

Uncle Bob began suffering from Alzheimer’s when I was just starting medical school.  It was frustrating that even though medicine had come so far, at that time there were essentially no treatments for the disease.  Several years later, and just months after I completed my Neurology training, another family member began exhibiting the signs of AD.  These personal experiences have instilled in me the empathy and motivation to dedicate my professional career to combating this most challenging disease.

 

As a Neurologist working in an academic setting (University of Miami Miller School of Medicine), I divide my time between three areas: Patient Care, Research, and Education.  I teach medical students and Neurology residents in the outpatient clinic and at the bedside at Jackson Memorial Hospital, the third-largest public hospital and third-largest teaching hospital in the United States.  In addition, I have lectured to faculty and trainees in Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Psychiatry, and Geriatrics at U. Miami Miller School of Medicine and at several other institutions.  I have been invited to lecture on the topic of “Recent Advances in the Management of Alzheimer’s disease” and "Alzheimer's Prevention: Is it Possible?" all over the country.  These lectures are attended by physicians in a variety of specialties, as well as nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other members of the healthcare team.  

 

I have found that regardless of whether I am speaking to a group of neurologists at a large academic medical center in the Northeast, or to a group of family practice physicians and nurse practitioners at a small private practice in the Midwest, there is a significant gap between potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and what is actually recommended to patients.

 

This gap in treatment, and the personal experiences of my family members, patients, and close friends, prompted me to write this book.

 

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