I am a retired neurologist with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. For nearly 25 years I practiced and taught general neurology. Many of my patients had dementia including Alzheimer’s disease, but it never occurred to me until a few years ago that I might get it too. In A Tattoo On My Brain: A Neurologist’s Personal Battle Against Alzheimer’s Disease, I tell about my journey from the first olfactory symptoms fifteen years ago to a firm PET scan-confirmed diagnosis nearly six years ago and explain why I feel it is so important to recognize Alzheimer’s early, perhaps even before cognitive impairment has started, because it is in these early stages that lifestyle interventions have been shown to slow progression and when future disease-modifying medications are likely to be most effective.
I recently started a personal blog dedicated to updating the book as time goes on, explaining new advances in research and discussing my own experiences going forward. It is a journey, and so far it is going pretty well with only very slow progression. I am actually hopeful about the future, and I want to communicate some of that hope to those that might not feel it yet. A large portion of that hope comes from being proactive by doing everything possible to limit risk and slow progression starting early, before too many brain cells have been lost.