Thursday, July 02, 2015

Dementia books

I went to Hillsborough Public Library, and found these two books:

Graham, N. and Warner, J. (2009). Understanding Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias. Poole, Family Doctor Publications.

The authors are UK based psychiatrists, and the book series is published in association with the BMA.  I liked the warning in the back cover blurb about the perils of information from the web, and there is a bit before the list of useful resources at the end about web searching, which could perhaps do with repeating that advice.   The list of resources looks dated now (after only 6 years), at least one organisation has changed its name, and the UK government website has changed its address.   The book covers what dementia is, symptoms, treatments (I wonder if this has dated too), help, living with dementia, future prospects, a Q and A, and a piece about how the brain works.   There are then pages for the reader to fill in with their personal and health details, and medications.  As the title suggests, it covers Alzheimer's and other types of dementia, even saying brief things about Korsakoff's Syndrome and CJD. 

The Alzheimer's Society are selling this book from their website.  It is not clear if it is a more recent edition, but Amazon are still selling this edition.

Hatzikalminios, C. (2014). Alzheimer's: reduce your risk and revitalise.  Melbourne, Wilkinson.

The author is an American nonfiction writer, rather than a health professional, although she has been a photo researcher for university and medical books.   The publisher is Australian.  I'd be wary of drug information, but although she talks of FDA approval, she does give UK names.  It mentions one drug that the other book says is not recommended by NICE (see below!!).  The layout of the book is clear, and the "prospects for the future" part will potentially be more up to date than Graham and Warner.  There are several boxes talking about pieces of research being done (with some, but not all, detail of who and where published).  There is a "preventing" section, and I wonder about that, however, to be fair the author does say that scientists speculate that the things described might prevent it.  The list of organisations at the end of the book has only one UK based one.

The drug referred to in both books is memantine. A search of NICE Evidence Search (for alzheimer's disease drugs, and then filtered to NICE publications) finds NICE Technology Appraisal Guidance TA217, produced in March 2011.  It updates NICE Technology Appraisal Guidance 111, originally produced in 2006 but updated in 2007 and 2009.  TA217, the 2011 one, says, "memantine is now recommended as an option for managing moderate Alzheimer’s disease for people who cannot take AChE inhibitors, and as an option for managing severe Alzheimer’s disease".

This shows that evidence and advice do change, and an up to date book is a good idea!

The Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme has a list of books on dementia, undated, according to a news item, launched in January 2015.  It covers information and advice, books for carers, books on living with dementia, and books telling personal stories.  I have used this list to help check books in stock at work, to see if there is anything we do not have.   Graham and Warner is on the list.   The scheme is supported by health professionals and public libraries (Hillsborough had copies), and several dementia organisations helped compile this list.

No comments: