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Atypical Dementias: Understanding Midlife Language, Visual, Behavioral and Cognitive Changes

About Atypical Dementias

My name is Jamie Talan and I am a science writer who has spent a forty-plus year career reporting on the brain. I was 15 years into my career as a journalist at a daily newspaper in New York when I met a middle-aged woman who began showing up at work with her shoes on the wrong feet and her shirt on backwards. A colleague at work asked me to help her friend, Marilyn, figure out what was going on. And that is how I began to understand that Marilyn had a visual and spatial dementia and that there are many other syndromes that begin changing the brain in midlife.

These syndromes affect areas of the brain that regulate our visual/spatial world, our language, our behavior, our movement, and our how we interact with others. These stories of midlife brain changes that take people off course are real and sad and must be told.  And I thank everyone in this book who allowed me to share their stories so that others will know that they are not alone.


Book Chapters:


Chapter 1: How It Began

Chapter 2: Posterior Cortical Atrophy

Chapter 3: Primary Progressive Aphasia

Chapter 4: Behavioral Variant Frontotemporal Dementia

Chapter 5: Studying Emotion in Behavioral Variant Frontotemporal Dementia

Chapter 6: One Gene, Two Neurogenetic Diseases: Frontotemporal Dementia and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Chapter 7: Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease 

Chapter 8: Familial and Sporadic Prion Diseases

Chapter 9: CADASIL

Chapter 10: Corticobasal Syndrome and Other Atypical Neurodegenerative Diseases


Get Your Copy

Atypical Dementias: Language, Visual, Behavioral and Cognitive Changes is available on Amazon.

Jamie Talan is a science writer specializing in the brain. The first two decades of her career was spent in the newsroom at Newsday. Her stories have appeared for the last twelve years in Neurology Today, a publication of the American Academy of Neurology. She is the co-author of “The Death of Innocents,” that won an Edgar Award for best non-fiction in 1998; and Deep Brain Stimulation, published by the Dana Press. She is an assistant clinical professor at The Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, where she started the art & literary journal — Narrateur: Reflections on Caring. She was editor-in-chief for the first ten years and stepped down in 2020, following a poignant COVID issue. She lives in Idaho, where she and her husband are sheep farmers and cattle ranchers. 

Toy Brain

I started my lecture series on posterior cortical atrophy and have had many lectures about atypical dementia, in general. Check out my lectures! Click above.

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