Alzheimer's Disease Essay

2718 words - 11 pages

'Where has Yesterday Gone'Memory loss, like old age is a condition which mankind has always reluctantly recognized and always - with resignation. Memory loses are sometimes trivial and meaningless and go unrecognized. However, when these loses are so great that a person does not know who or where they are the concerns are quite grave. Although it is realize that Alzheimer's disease destroys the brain memory function, many do not realize precisely how the memory is destroyed once one is aware of the process, it becomes faster to work forward to alleviate the destruction.'Without memory there is no knowledge to recreate or reproduce past perceptions, emotions, thoughts and actions that are so vital to live a full and functioning life. Memory is the key that unlocks doors that keep us functioning, not only mentally but physically (Corrick 32).''Memory loss is not a sign of decay (Freedman 10).' As we get older, there is some mild impairment in our recollection of recent events, such as forgetting why one went into a room or misplacing a person's eye glasses, which even young are guilty of doing. As reported by Larry Squire, 'forgetting is quite normal and usually develops in the third decade of life, and by one estimate 85 percent of the healthy elderly - those over 65--suffer some memory impairment (59).'According to Dr. Seligmann, 'forgetting is the process through which information in memory becomes inaccessible, either because it is stored but is not at that time retrievable (51).' This is one of the most important factors in forgetting. Memory loss is rapid at first and then gradually levels off. There are many types of 'dismembering' enemies that hamper ones recall and retrieval system. 'Forgetting may be increased by interference from proactive inhibition, that is material learned beforehand, like trying to remember a soup recipe (51).'In remembering stories or events there is a tendency for distortions to occur. Cutler explains that studies made by Elizabeth Loftus reveal, 'what you learn today may actually distort your memory of what happened to you yesterday. . . (62).' People tend to remember the events that they regard as the most important. They attempt to reconstruct the event, usually what knowledge they have, with the result being what would have been expected rather than what actually happened.Dr. Siegfried reports that 'Neural decay is another enemy to the memory. Sensory receptors, such as visual, auditory and smell, provide you with sharply etched neural impressions or the world around you. But this pattern of neural firing is quickly destroyed in one of two ways; the receptor neurons adapt to the input (10- 11).' The brain can register only one item at a time. If two events are occurring at the same time the storage of the information will depend on the importance of information to the individual. 'Neural decay is perhaps the simplest types of forgetting (Seligmann 51).'As explained by Dick Gilling, 'the short-term memory...

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