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Can't Remember What I Forgot: The Good News…

Can't Remember What I Forgot: The Good News from the Front Lines of Memory…

by Sue Halpern

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A very interesting book introducing the current research into and understanding of the funtion of memory and memory disorders as well as studies investigating memory aids, drugs, and exercises. Although it is not a how-to book there are some interesting thoughts and ideas for those of us who may be paranoid about such things. ( )
  rampaginglibrarian | Oct 10, 2009 |
Pros: a good title and an interesting topic
Cons: utterly boring and self-indulgent writing; lack of any scientific rigor; very much what-I-feel type of writing ( )
  sphinx | Jul 17, 2008 |
I was extremely interested in the subject matter having lost two of my grandparents to Alzheimer's in recent years. Although Halpern did provide me with a better understanding of the disease, some of the more technical aspects were a bit tedious to get through (for me, anyway). I was hoping from the title that the book would announce a real breakthrough in the area of memory recovery or battling dementia, but such a breakthrough appears to be quite a ways off. This book is essentially a summary of the author's meetings over the past number of years with neuroscientists and others chasing a cure for memory related diseases. What I did find enlightening - yet disturbing - was the description of the manner in which research is carried out. It would appear most researchers tend to work secretly and independently from one another with a primary goal of publishing first or obtaining key patents that will result in profits for shareholders, rather than working together with the goal of finding a cure.

[This book was reviewed as part of Book Browse's First Impressions group] ( )
1 vote scofer | May 4, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307406741, Hardcover)

An essential behind-the-scenes foray into the world of cutting-edge memory research that unveils findings about memory loss only now available to general readers.

When Sue Halpern decided to emulate the first modern scientist of memory, Hermann Ebbinghaus, who experimented on himself, she had no idea that after a day of radioactive testing, her brain would become so “hot” that leaving through the front door of the lab would trigger the alarm. This was not the first time while researching Can’t Remember What I Forgot, part of which appeared in The New Yorker, that Halpern had her head examined, nor would it be the last.

Halpern spent years in the company of the neuroscientists, pharmacologists, psychologists, nutritionists, and inventors who are hunting for the genes and molecules, the drugs and foods, the machines, the prosthetics, the behaviors and therapies that will stave off Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia and keep our minds–and memories–intact. Like many of us who have had a relative or friend succumb to memory loss, who are getting older, who are hearing statistics about our own chances of falling victim to dementia, who worry that each lapse of memory portends disease, Halpern wanted to find out what the experts really knew, what the bench scientists were working on, how close science is to a cure, to treatment, to accurate early diagnosis, and, of course, whether the crossword puzzles, sudokus, and ballroom dancing we’ve been told to take up can really keep us lucid or if they’re just something to do before the inevitable overtakes us.

Beautifully written, sharply observed, and deeply informed, Can’t Remember What I Forgot is a book full of vital information–and a solid dose of hope.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:51 -0400)

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An examination of the world of memory research reveals the latest findings about memory loss, how close scientists are to finding ways to diagnose, treat, and even cure dementia, and the effectiveness of keeping one's mind active.

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