In Pursuit of Memory

The fight against Alzheimer’s

By Joseph Jebelli

Disease and Disorders, Medical Memoir, Non-Fiction


Published by John Murray

Longlist 2018

A fascinating and very human story of the Alzheimer’s epidemic that affects millions of people around the world – and the race against the clock to find a cure.

When Joseph Jebelli was 12, his beloved grandfather, Abbas, began to act very strangely. Before long, Abbas didn’t recognise his family any more.

Now a neuroscientist, Dr Jebelli has dedicated his career to understanding Alzheimer’s disease, which affects 850,000 people in the UK and many millions more worldwide. In this, his first book, Jebelli explores the past, present and future of Alzheimer’s disease, starting from the very beginning – the first recorded case more than 100 years ago – right up to the cutting-edge research being done today. It is a story as good as any detective novel, taking us to 19th-century Germany and postwar England; to the jungles of Papua New Guinea and the technological proving grounds of Japan; to America, India, China, Iceland, Sweden and Colombia; and to the cloud-capped spires of the most elite academic institutions. Its heroes are expert scientists from around the world – but also the incredibly brave patients and families who have changed the way scientists think about Alzheimer’s, unveiling a deadly disease that took us centuries to track down, and above all, reminding everyone never to take memory – our most prized possession – for granted.

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