The Discovery of Dementia

Alois Alzheimer identified Auguste Deter as the first Alzheimer’s patient in 1906.

Dr. Alzheimer noticed changes in the brain tissue of a woman who had died of an unusual mental illness whose symptoms included memory loss, language problems, and unpredictable behavior. Early onset (dementia) of Alzheimer’s disease is caused by mutation in a single gene. A mutation whose ultimate effect is the formation of amyloid plaques. These plaques form between nerve cells and suffocate them.

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the greatest health problems today.  Approximately 100 million dementia sufferers are predicted worldwide by 2050, the majority of whom will have Alzheimer’s disease. 95% of Alzheimer’s patients suffer late onset of the illness after age 65. Dementia is an illness that usually occurs slowly over time, and includes a progressive state of deteriation in the brain.

A Neurologist can determine through a series of tests if you are suffering from or headed for Alzheimer’s disease.

 

10 Things a Person with Dementia Would Tell You If They Could

 

  1. You know what makes me feel safe, secure, and happy? A smile.
  2. Did you ever consider this? When you get tense and uptight it makes me feel tense and uptight.
  3. Instead of getting all bent out of shape when I do something that seems perfectly normal to me, and perfectly nutty to you, why not just smile at me? It will take the edge off the situation all the way around.1
  4. Please try to understand and remember it is my short term memory, my right now memory, that is gone — don’t talk so fast, or use so many words.
  5. You know what I am going to say if you go off into long winded explanations on why we should do something?I am going to say No, because I can never be certain if you are asking me to do something I like, or drink a bottle of castor oil. So I’ll just say No to be safe.
  6. Slow down. And don’t sneak up on me and start talking. Did I tell you I like smiles?
  7. Make sure you have my attention before you start blabbering away. What is going to happen if you start blabbering away and you don’t have my attention, or confuse me? I am going to say No – count on it.
  8. My attention span and ability to pay attention are not as good as they once were, please make eye contact with me before you start talking. A nice smile always gets my attention. Did I mention that before?
  9. Sometimes you talk to me like I am a child or an idiot.How would you like it if I did that to you? Go to your room and think about this. Don’t come back and tell me you are sorry, I won’t know what you are talking about. Just stop doing it and we will get along very well, and probably better than you think.
  10. You talk too much — instead try taking my hand and leading the way. I need a guide not a person to nag me all the time.

 

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