More than five million Americans have Alzheimer's disease. By mid-century, that number is expected to double, if not quadruple. Researchers are learning more about the progressive neurological disorder that affects memory and other functions of the brain, but there is still no treatment or cure. Writers have begun documenting the epidemic, creating fiction and nonfiction that renders the mysterious disease and how it uniquely changes the lives of patients and caregivers alike. The New York Times declared this writing a new genre, calling it "Alzheimer's Literature."
As Duke University convenes its 25th annual conference on Alzheimer's disease, host Frank Stasio considers the state of the science and the literature with Dr. James Burke, the Director of the Memory Disorders Clinic and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Duke University Medical Center; Stefan Merrill Block, author of the novel "The Story of Forgetting" (Random House/2008); poet Malakia King Albrecht, author of "Lessons in Forgetting" (Main Street Rag/2011); and Jo Maeder, author of the memoir, "When I Married My Mother" (Da Capo Press/2009).