Lacy, Dr. Betty: Alzheimer’s Disease: A Psychiatrist’s Personal Perspective — Part One

Posted on November 20th, 2020 in Genetics,Health,Psychology/Psychiatry,Science by LeGov

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In our continuing series on dementia we visit with Dr. Betty J. Lacy, clinical psychiatrist, based in Ukiah, California, whose focus is the prevention, care and treatment of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. This chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and worsens over time is the cause of 60% to 70% of cases of dementia.

Dr. Lacy tells the story about Alois Alheimers, a German psychiatrist and neuropathologist. He’s credited with identifying the first published case of “presenile dementia”, which would later be identified as Alzheimer’s disease.

In this the first of two visits with Dr. Lacy, she shares the emotional impact of the personal experiences of her parents, both of whom suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. She and her two siblings each carry the gene called APOE4, which increases a person’s susceptibility to this disease. She also explains the benefits of being tested and identifies specific ways to retard and possibly prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s.

When Betty Lacy visited Radio Curious on July 7, 2017, we began with her description of her parents’ conditions and their states of mind.

In part two, Dr. Lacy discusses how to deal with this disease, and provides suggestions for family and friends of a person who suffers from Alzheimer’s.

The book Betty Lacy recommends is “He Wanted the Moon:  The Madness and Medical Genius of Dr. Perry Baird, and His Daughter’s Quest to Know Him,” by Mimi Baird and Eve Claxton.

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