November 22, 2011
Brief Assignment #2
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia accounting for as many as two-thirds of all cases, usually occurring after the age of 65. Around five million people in the United States currently have this gradually progressive disease.
According to the DSM IV-TR checklist this disease includes the development of multiple cognitive deficits manifested by both memory impairment and at least one of these cognitive disturbances: aphasia, apraxia, agnosia, or disturbance in executive functioning. It also includes the significant impairment in social or occupational functioning, along with significant decline from a previous level of functioning. Lastly it includes the gradual onset and continuing cognitive decline. As the symptoms of dementia intensify, people with Alzheimer’s disease show less and less awareness of their limitations. They may withdraw from others during the late stages of the disorder and become more confused about time and place, wandering around shower very poor judgment. Eventually they become fully dependant on other people and may even lose almost all their knowledge of the past and fail to recognize the faces of even close relatives. They also become increasingly uncomfortable at night and take frequent naps during the day. Alzheimer’s victims usually remain in fairly good health until the later stages of the disease but as their mental functioning declines they become less active and spend much of their time just sitting or lying in bed and as a result are prone to develop illnesses such as pneumonia which can result in death.
If I developed this disorder it would be later in life and it would definitely change the person that I am. My life would be a lot more difficult because I would be in a state of constant confusion and it would be very scary to live life without remembering. A life with Alzheimer’s is definitely not easy, especially when you are...