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Understanding ‘Atypical Dementias’ that Affect People in Mid-life


Episode Description:  

Many of us know someone who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. It seems to be everywhere. People are living longer today, and our longevity is often given as one reason for its prevalence, since age is cited as the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s.  But some people who have puzzling brain changes are surprisingly young—in their fifties—in the prime of mid-life. What they have is not “traditional” Alzheimer’s disease, but rather a different kind of dementia known as Posterior Cortical Atrophy, or PCA. In today’s episode—as we come to the end of Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month—we talk with Jamie Talan, a widely recognized science writer who specializes in neuroscience and neurology and is the author of a new book, “Atypical Dementias: Understanding Mid-Life Language, Visual, Behavioral and Cognitive Changes.” Jamie will explain what researchers know about the causes of this type of dementia, which produces symptoms of visual impairment instead of the memory loss more commonly associated with Alzheimer’s. While there is no treatment yet for PCA,  Jamie will also talk about her commitment to creating a lecture series and support groups, which are now serving thousands of people nationwide, leading to a better understanding of what these diseases look like and how we can improve the lives of patients and their caregivers

Guest Description:

Jamie Talan is a science writer specializing in neuroscience and neurology. She is an assistant professor of science education at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the author of the recently published book, “Atypical Dementias: Understanding Mid-Life Language, Visual, Behavioral and Cognitive Changes.” Jamie received her masters in public health at Stony Brook University and spent the first 25 years of her career at Newsday, a daily newspaper on Long Island, NY. In 2008 she left to start an art and literary journal, “Narateur,” now in its tenth year, where she remains editor-in-chief. She also writes for “Neurology Today,” an American Academy of Neurology publication. Jamie’s experience as a fellow at the Global Brain Health Institute led her to create a lecture series and two online support groups for patients with posterior cortical atrophy or PCA, a visual and spatial dementia.

Contact: Jtalan3k@aol.com  

  Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/jamie.talan/

  Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamie-talan-8a75474/

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