A prominent clinician and neuroscientist at the Baycrest Rotman Research Institute, Dr. Tiffany Chow has devoted most of her career to the study of Alzheimer’s disease—in particular, early onset dementia. She has seen first-hand how the disease progresses in her patients, and also how the disease greatly affects the families and caregivers of individuals living with dementia. In THE MEMORY CLINIC, Dr. Chow offers knowledge and hope for an illness that has no cure. “This book is a summary of what I’ve learned through my research or from my colleagues about prevention and management of dementia. Even where there is a family history of Alzheimer’s disease, people at risk can do things to prevent its onset or progression.”
Dr. Chow speaks with the knowledge that she, too, may someday be affected by the disease: through her grandmother Ah Quan, born in 1906 in Hawaii of Chinese ancestry, Dr. Chow has a genetic legacy of Alzheimer’s disease. Comparing her life with her grandmother’s, she investigates what she and others can do to mitigate the impact of genetics through nutrition, exercise, and the concepts of cerebral reserve and brain plasticity. But it is in her front-line role managing the suffering caused by dementia and aiding caregivers where Chow’s compassionate voice is most inspiring. To meet the challenges of caregiving, she emphasizes that both patients and caregivers need to feel safe, healthy, happy, and loved. Meeting these basic needs daily takes skill at balancing life’s demands and is itself part of the protective shield against dementia’s effects.