In Pursuit of Memory
The Fight Against Alzheimer's: Shortlisted for the Royal Society Prize
By Dr Joseph Jebelli
The fascinating and very human story of the Alzheimer's epidemic that affects millions of people around the world - and the race against the clock to find a cure.
When Joseph Jebelli was twelve, his beloved grandfather began to act very strangely. It started with inexplicable walks, and gradually his bright smiles were replaced by a fearful, withdrawn expression. Before long, he didn't recognise his family any more.
Dr Jebelli has dedicated his career to understanding Alzheimer's disease, which affects millions worldwide and 850,000 people in the UK alone. In this, his first book, Jebelli explores the past, present and future of Alzheimer's disease starting from the very beginning - the first recorded case more than one hundred years ago - right up to the cutting-edge research being done today. It is a story as good as any detective novel, taking us to nineteenth-century Germany and post-war England; to the jungles of Papua New Guinea and the technological proving grounds of Japan; to America, India, China, Iceland, Sweden, and Colombia; and to the cloud-capped spires of the most elite academic institutions. Its heroes are expert scientists from around the world - but also the incredibly brave patients and families who have changed the way scientists think about Alzheimer's, unveiling a pandemic that took us centuries to track down, and above all, reminding everyone never to take memory - our most prized possession - for granted.
Based upon years of meticulous research, In Pursuit of Memory is a compelling insider's account of this terrible disease and the scientists who are trying to find a cure against the clock.
(P)2017 John Murray Press
Joseph Jebelli is a thirty-year-old British neuroscientist and writer. He began to work on the disease - specifically, using the body's immune system to halt its progress - while studying for his PhD in neurobiology at UCL. He has written for the Guardian and the Wellcome Trust. This is his first book.
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- Publication date:
01 Jun 2017
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Joseph Jebelli's wonderfully clear, vividly readable and comprehensive survey of the search for a cure . . . The world is closing in on Alzheimer's. There is nowhere left for it to hide — THE TIMES
A fascinating quest at the frontiers of neuro-degeneration... and a moving, sober and forensic study of the past, present and future of Alzheimer's from the point of view of a neurologist who has lived with the disease, at home and in the lab, from a very young age. The story Jebelli tells illustrates the tantalising mystery of Alzheimer's: it's both highly visible yet agonizingly elusive...a timely analysis [that] might give comfort. — ROBERT McCRUM, OBSERVER
A personal story and smart scientific thinking reveal the history and humanity behind an epidemic that affects 44 million people worldwide — NEW SCIENTIST
A riveting debut... the very human story of the disease that is now an epidemic — BOOKSELLER, SCIENCE BOOK OF THE MONTH
In Pursuit of Memory is a remarkable combination of fine writing, personal honesty and deep scientific insight - about a devastating and baffling disease that is becoming all too common. Jebelli weighs up all the evidence and all the theories about Alzheimer's and even allows us a glimpse of optimism about a cure — MATT RIDLEY
An accessible, diligently researched and well-travelled overview of the disease that is more deadly than cancer. Jebelli poignantly weaves the current science with the tragic stories of affected families, not least his own — SUNDAY TIMES
The definitive portrait of Alzheimer's disease - an illness that is rapidly becoming the defining plague of the 21st century — Big Issue
On the surface it's about Alzheimer's disease but more than that it demonstrates how challenging it is to understand the brain — Suzanne O'Sullivan, Observer, BOOKS OF THE YEAR
An elegant and precise writer, Jebelli follows every lead for a cure with the panache of a detective novelist, giving readers much to hope for despite the devastation Alzheimer's has left in its wake. Based on his meticulous and wide-ranging research, he makes a convincing argument that Alzheimer's will be defeated in the decades to come. Jebelli analyzes every facet of Alzheimer's with personal empathy and scientific rigor, a combination that makes for enthralling reading. — Kirkus, starred review