Dementia Essay

1010 words - 5 pages

Dementia has caused challenges and heartache for many families I have met. A loved one who no longer recognizes you could be difficult to cope with. I have had clients who do not know their own children and are unaware of their surroundings. Even though they have lived in the same home for over 30 years; it is now a strange new place to explore. Closets, bedrooms, and garages that were once frequented are now entered with caution and wonder. Everyday items are puzzles just waiting to be solved. As the disease progresses the harder it is to grasp the present. The past, like an old friend, beckons and comes to life bringing former friends and relatives of long ago, to the surface. Stories of days gone by are repeated and relived over and over. Constantly searching while longing to understand what is happening. Not being able to piece together the answers is frustrating. With frustration comes irritability and sleeplessness turning days into nights and nights into days. Everyday tasks became impossible, confusing, and troublesome. Dementia sometimes goes for years undetected; it is one of the most difficult diseases to diagnose. Because Dementia is an incurable disease that progresses with time we need to be diligent in finding a cure to prevent more victims.
History
In the 17th and the 19th century dementia was synonymous with insanity. Still many knew that people with this disease suffered from permanent damage that was irreversible unlike mental disorders where the brain remains intact (2006). Dementia was often known as senile which is common with old age. Studies through the years have shown that it is much more serious and causes damage to areas of the brain. Alois Alzheimer in 1910 noticed tangles, plaques, and arteriosclerotic changes in the brain when examining post-mortem. Dementia is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and more than five million people are living with it today.

Dementia is incurable-
Dementia progresses with time and causes degeneration or loss of nerve cells in the brain. Tangles, plaques, and arteriosclerotic changes in the brain were discovered when examining the brain post-mortem. Vascular dementia is damage to the blood supply to different areas of the brain. What was known has arteriosclerotic in Alzheimer’s is now classified as Vascular dementia. This type of dementia is quite common and occupied by mini-stokes. Vascular dementia affects the blood flow to the brain causing severe damage and memory lapses. Blockages, with resultant tissue death in the area supplied by the vessel, had previously been thought to be the second most frequent cause (2002, Elsevier Science). Lewy bodies are microscopic intracellular abnormalities seen in the brain stem structures of patients with Parkinson's disease, but are also found distributed diffusely throughout the cortex and subcortex when associated with dementia (2002, Elsevier Science). This disease cause’s nerve cell death and tissue loss...

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