Decoding Darkness: The Search for the Genetic Causes of Alzheimer's Disease

By Rudolph E. Tanzi; Ann B. Parson | Go to book overview

After Julia gave birth to a tenth child, something changed. She was quieter, less cheerful, even despondent sometimes. Had childbearing just plain worn her out? Or was she perhaps suffering from postpartum depression? Her sisters, husband, and older children waited for her to "snap out of it," and indeed on some days she seemed her upbeat tireless self again, whizzing from errand to errand and baking up a storm. But even on her better days she kept forgetting small things. On numerous occasions she left the oven on, or lost the car keys, or confused days of the week. Clothes stayed out on the line long after they had dried. One afternoon she forgot to take the two youngest to a birthday party. Several times it slipped her mind that her husband said he'd be home for lunch. Her family teased her. "Boy, Mom, it must be early menopause!" "Boy, Mom, you'd better start tying a string around your finger!" Julia's laugh would bubble up. Really, she didn't know what had gotten hold of her.

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