A collage of literature for caregivers of people with Alzheimer's Disase.

Alzheimer’s Disease Collection Received

By Margaret Kaiser

Portrait of Alois Alzheimer National Library of Medicine #b030091
Portrait of Alois Alzheimer
National Library of Medicine #b030091

Recently, the Library received from the National Institute on Aging’s Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center, an excellent collection of public health education materials dealing with Alzheimer’s disease.  Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease is demanding and can present many challenges and this collection is particularly strong in the areas of caregiver guidance and training.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and irreversible brain disease.  The disease is named after Bavarian physician, Dr. Alois Alzheimer (1864–1915), who, in 1901 began following the case of Auguste Deter, a mental patient in Frankfurt, Germany.  Although only 51, she was suffering from memory loss, disorientation, and difficulty with language.  When she died in 1906, Dr. Alzheimer requested permission to examine her brain and discovered the abnormal clumps (amyloid plaques) and tangled bundles of fibers (neurofibrillary tangles) which today are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

The ADEAR Center at the National Institute on Aging, which was established in 1990, reviewed books, brochures, pamphlets, guides, and other types of materials for inclusion in its online database.  NIA ended this collection activity in 2012 and the materials have been transferred to the Library. The collection consists of  materials published between the 1980s and 2012 and documents the research in Alzheimer’s disease as well as its assessment, diagnosis, and management. The collection includes brochures, pamphlets, workbooks, and fact sheets which provide information on a wide range of topics pertaining to both patient care and caregiver needs.   Subjects include coping with behaviors, financial and legal issues, and choosing a care facility.

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Caregiver Month. For current health information visit the National Institute on Aging’s Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center, the government’s leading resource on Alzheimer’s disease. The ADEAR Center staff answers telephone, email, and written requests from families, caregivers, and professionals.

As of the date of this post, this recently acquired collection is currently being processed for inclusion in the collections of the Library. For questions about any of these titles, including how to consult them, please contact the History of Medicine Division Reference staff at hmdref@nlm.nih.gov or (301) 402-8878.

Margaret Kaiser is Acquisitions Librarian for the Rare Books and Early Manuscripts Section in the History of Medicine Division at the National Library of Medicine.

One comment

  1. As is the case with most newly diagnosed diseases the worst one’s are identified first, so it was with Auguste Deter who was only 51. Older patients were thought to merely be senile. Now we know better, that Alzheimers encompasses a wide ranging age demographic. Too bad that there is no effective treatment, billions spent by pharmaceutical companies in search so far of a elusive cure. Before you pillory the ” greedy ” drug companies think of how much they spend and lose in unsuccessful pursuit of medications as for Alzheimers.

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