By NANCY STEARNS BERCAW
Alzheimer’s disease had been on his radar ever since his own father died of it. Witnessing the catastrophic deterioration of a man who had been sharp enough to work for Gen. Douglas MacArthur, my frightened father was inspired to become a neurologist. Perhaps the pursuit of medicine could stave off what he believed was a genetic inevitability.
As an ever-present reminder of that threat, he kept an atrophied brain in a jar on his desk. That brain, I recently discovered, belonged to his father.