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, approximately35.6 million people suffer from dementia, worldwide. Among the dementias, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common, by far. There are approximately 5.4 millionAmericans who suffer from this illness. In Vermont, there are approximately 12,000; inNew 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 tocare 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 AssistantProfessor of Psychiatry, Indiana University School of Medicine; Scientist, IUCenter for Aging Research; Investigator, Regenstrief Institute, Inc., IndianaUniversity School of Medicine
• Julie P.W. Bynum, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth; Associate Professor of Medicine and Community & FamilyMedicine; 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 atDartmouth and Director, Healthy Aging Brain Care Clinic, Dartmouth-HitchcockMedical Center
• Nadia Paré, PhD, Neuropsychologist formerly at Dartmouth; now staffNeuropsychologist, the Geriatric Evaluation and Management Clinic, MethodistHospital, Omaha, NE
• Aleksandra Stark, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Geisel School ofMedicine at Dartmouth; Attending Neurologist, Dartmouth-Hitchcock MedicalCenter
• Sumita Strander, Dartmouth College Presidential Scholar and DartmouthCollege Stamps Leadership Scholar
I would also like to thank the following academic centers for giving us permission toreprint information from their websites or printed materials:
• The Duke University Medical Center Family Support Program• The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine CognitiveNeurology 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 NeurologicalDisorders and Stroke
• The National Institute on Aging – Alzheimer’s Disease Education andResource Center (ADEAR)
Finally, we wish to thank the Jeanne Estee Mackay Anderson Alzheimer’s DiseaseSupport and Education Fund, which has underwritten the printing of this edition of theHandbook.
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