American artist William Utermohlen (1933-2007) was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1995. For the remaining five years of his life, he painted self-portraits which revealed the progression of the disease and its effects, as well as Mr. Utermohlen's heartbreaking, desperate attempts to understand what was happening to him.
Even if you don’t immediately recognize the words “prion” or “Kuru”, the history of these pathologies has seeped into popular culture like a horrifying fairy tale. But it’s true: a tribe in New Guinea ate the dead, not as Hollywood-style savages but to respect the dead. Upon death, you took a part of them into yourself. And that included the brain.
Read the rest