Alzheimers Disease - The Living Death

By: mikeherman1
Alzheimer's disease or the 'living death' was named after Dr Alois Alzheimer who discovered it in 1907, when he described the amazing effects the disease had on the brain of a 51 year old woman who had apparently died of dementia.

When examined under a microscope, her brain showed changes that had never been seen before.

While in some parts there was a clumping of brain matter in other parts it was tangled together.

When his research discovered the same twisting and deformations in other patients who died of similar causes the condition carried his name and became known as Alzheimer's disease.

However, his research coincidentally concentrated on younger patients so at first this produced a false impression that Alzeimer's disease only affected the young, with older sufferers being falsely diagnosed with pre-senile dementia or senile dementia of the Alzheimer type (SDAT).

Now we know that the reverse is actually true and that Alzheimer's, with its distinctive brain abnormalities, is much more common in older patients than on the young.

This initial confusion has complicated matters enormously because now the whole group of conditions are all known as Alzheimer's disease.

The Royal College of Physicians describes Alzheimer's disease as follows ...
"Dementia is the global impairment of higher functions, including memory, the capacity to solve the problems of day to day living, the performance of learned perceptuo-motor skills (our learned responses such as washing, dressing and eating), the correct use of social skills, and the control of emotional reactions in the absence of gross clouding of consciousness."

This definition can't possibly convey the complex symptoms and distress that characterise this condition.

Those who personally know and love someone who suffers from it describe the gradual loss of memory, impaired judgement and changes in behaviour and temperament as 'a living death'.
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