The Dartmouth Memory Handbook

Introduction to The 5th Edition

The increasing number of individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other

dementias is a growing public health crisis. At the time of this writing, approximately

35.6 million people suffer from dementia, worldwide. Among the dementias,

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common, by far. There are approximately 5.4 million

Americans who suffer from this illness. In Vermont, there are approximately 12,000; in

New Hampshire, 23,000.

 

As the population ages, there will be more and more persons with Alzheimer’s disease,

as well as other serious memory disorders. If no cure or prevention is found, by the

year 2050, there may be as many as 16 million persons in the United States with

Alzheimer’s. And for each person who has the disease, there are many others – family,

friends, and neighbors, for example – whose lives are deeply affected, as well.

Coping with Alzheimer’s disease or other memory disorder in a loved one is a daunting

task. Care partners need a great deal of help - from family, friends, and professionals,

as well as a great deal of information from a variety of sources in order to successfully

manage this long and often-difficult journey.

 

It is clear that when people have ample information about the problem, and when they

take full advantage of the resources available in their community, they are better able to

care for their loved one, and can take better care of themselves in the process. The

person with a memory disorder fares much better, overall, when families and other

caregivers have the tools they need to properly meet this frequently difficult challenge.

This Handbook will help families learn about Alzheimer’s disease and other memory

disorders, and about the best ways to care for a loved one who suffers from the

disorder. A separate section (p. 275) lists a number of helpful resources that are

available in the Upper Valley region. But it is important to remember that no written

information, including this book, can take the place of a careful assessment and

ongoing care by a physician or other memory disorders specialist.

 

In preparing this handbook, we have reviewed a significant amount of printed and online

information about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and have selected for

inclusion only the most comprehensive, objective, and helpful materials we could find.

Some of the chapters in this addition are unchanged from the 2013 edition, but most

have undergone revision, and there are a number of entirely new chapters that have not

appeared previously. We trust that this new edition will be more useful than ever.

 

A number of colleagues currently or formerly at Dartmouth, or in the local community,

have contributed very valuable chapters to this edition:

 

Daniel Bateman, MD, a geropsychiatrist formerly at Dartmouth, now Assistant

Professor of Psychiatry, Indiana University School of Medicine; Scientist, IU

Center for Aging Research; Investigator, Regenstrief Institute, Inc., Indiana

University School of Medicine

Julie P.W. Bynum, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, Geisel School of Medicine

at Dartmouth; Associate Professor of Medicine and Community & Family

Medicine; Associate Professor of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy &

Clinical Practice (TDI)

Timothy W. Caldwell, Elder Law Attorney, Caldwell Law, Lebanon, NH;

Lori Fortini, Program Leader, Dartmouth Aging Resource Center;

Heba Gad, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Geisel School of Medicine at

Dartmouth and Director, Healthy Aging Brain Care Clinic, Dartmouth-Hitchcock

Medical Center

Nadia Paré, PhD, Neuropsychologist formerly at Dartmouth; now staff

Neuropsychologist, the Geriatric Evaluation and Management Clinic, Methodist

Hospital, Omaha, NE

Aleksandra Stark, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Geisel School of

Medicine at Dartmouth; Attending Neurologist, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical

Center

Sumita Strander, Dartmouth College Presidential Scholar and Dartmouth

College Stamps Leadership Scholar

 

I would also like to thank the following academic centers for giving us permission to

reprint information from their websites or printed materials:

 

The Duke University Medical Center Family Support Program

The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Cognitive

Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center

 

In addition, the websites of the following government agencies contain a great deal of

valuable information that is in the public domain, some of which has been reprinted here:

 

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) - National Institute of Neurological

Disorders and Stroke

The National Institute on Aging - Alzheimer’s Disease Education and

Resource Center (ADEAR)

 

Finally, we wish to thank the Jeanne Estee Mackay Anderson Alzheimer’s Disease

Support and Education Fund, which has underwritten the printing of this edition of the

Handbook.

 

The views expressed in each section of the Handbook are those of the individual

authors, and are not necessarily the views of the Editor.

 

Robert B. Santulli, M.D.

Honorary Associate Professor of Psychiatry

Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

Editor, Dartmouth Memory Handbook

October 2016