|Margaret Lock, PhD|
Professor Margaret Lock supplies an ethnographic account of Alzheimer disease in her recent book, The Alzheimer Conundrum. Lock furnishes a comprehensive description of the events leading up to the recasting of the phenomenon of Alzheimer’s as a condition to be prevented. The author challenges traditional assumptions and statistics about Alzheimer’s and takes us on a journey from the disease’s original clinical case through the vacillations in the science world and the media regarding possible causes, diagnostics, biomarkers, genetics and cures. She questions prevalence estimates for the impending “Alzheimer’s epidemic” that has been forecast with great assurance by some interest groups. Lock raises provocative questions that extend beyond the realm of Alzheimer disease, such as: When is a disease not a disease? When is pathology normal? When does a natural entity become pathological? Worth a read for those of us who are charged with the responsibility of ultimately diagnosing Alzheimer disease at autopsy.