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Are All Dementias Alzheimer?s?
I'm surprised when some patients and caregivers confuse dementia and Alzheimer's as one and the same. Each time a family member is suffering from memory loss, the conclusion is always Alzheimer's. Is it reasonable to label all dementias as Alzheimer's?
As a clinician, my answer to queries is that Alzheimer's dementia is only one type of dementia and that not all dementias are Alzheimer's. Aside from Alzheimer's disease, other dementias exist such as Dementia with lewy body, Vascular dementia, Parkinson's disease with dementia, and dementias due to various neurologic and medical conditions.
How will you know if a person is suffering from Alzheimer's dementia? What is Alzheimer's dementia?
Alzheimer's dementia is a neurologic disorder characterized by a progressive and irreversible cognitive decline associated with impairment in functioning. The cognitive deterioration consists of memory impairment. Initially there is recent memory impairment but as the disease progresses, even the long term memory is affected.
In addition to memory impairment, a patient with dementia has impairment in one of four cognitive areas: aphasia, apraxia, agnosia, and impairment in executive functioning. Aphasia is a problem in language characterized by inability to express oneself, repeat words or phrases, or understand what is being said. Apraxia is inability to adequately perform a usual motor activity such as combing the hair or brushing the teeth despite no paralysis or musculoskeletal abnormality.
Agnosia is inability to recognize objects or things despite no sensory deficits. For instance, a demented patient cannot recognize a key or a pen placed in his or her hands without looking at it.
Impairment in executive functioning is characterized by difficulty in abstract reasoning and in organizing things, schedule, and activities. Patients with this problem give concrete meaning to proverbs. For example, when a patient is asked what "don't cry over spilled milk" means, the patient responds, "It's easy. Just wipe it!" Moreover, knowing the specific similarities and differences of certain things (e.g. apple versus orange) is a struggle for some patients.
What are the possible causes of Alzheimer's?
The cause of Alzheimer is still unknown. However, several risk factors have been identified. One major risk factor is age. The risk of developing dementia increases as our age advances. Older individuals therefore are more at risk. Having said this, Alzheimer's can also happen to young individuals.
Other important risk factors include the presence of apolipoprotein E4 allele, the predominance of plaques and tangles in the brain, and the brain's impaired cholinergic system.
Is there any successful treatment for Alzheimer's?
Alzheimer's disease is irreversible so current medications are only geared to slow down the deterioration. These acetylcholisterase inhibitors, namely galantamine, rivastigmine, and donepezil, are aimed at improving the cholinergic functioning in the brain by inhibiting the cholinesterase enzyme. Although initially indicated for mild to moderate dementia, some recent evidence shows that some of these drugs may also benefit patients with moderate to severe dementia. Further studies are warranted to determine its efficacy in this group.
Copyright © 2004. All rights reserved. Dr. Michael G. Rayel ? author (First Aid to Mental Illness?Finalist, Reader's Preference Choice Award 2002), psychiatrist, and inventor of Oikos Game: An Emotional Intelligence Game. For info, visit http://www.oikosglobal.com and http://www.soardime.com
Fairies and Mental Health
Schizophrenics hallucinate alternate realities. People who claim to have been abducted by aliens are accused of having Fantasy Prone Personalities. So what about those of us who claim to be conversing with angels, fairies, and spirit guides? Are we nuts? Absolutely yes! If we weren't crazy before we started chatting with the divine, we soon will be. Just the constant questioning of one's sanity can drive a person insane. How do you know if you're really talking to spirits or if you're losing your mind?
What Causes Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?
The most recent models that attempt to describe what is happening in the brains of people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder suggest that several areas of the brain may be affected by the disorder. They include the frontal lobes, the inhibitory mechanisms of the cortex, the limbic system, and the reticular activating system. Each of these areas of the brain is associated with various neurological functions.
Panic Attacks: Effective Ways to Cope
Jill is a 21 y/o college student who used to do well until about a few months ago when she started to experience "weird" attacks almost daily. She described her experience as "horrible." When she has the attack, she feels that she's about to die or develop a stroke.
A Jungian Approach to Mental Illness
All of us suffer from some form of emotional distress at some stage. Some forms of distress can last longer than they should and may significantly impair our everyday functioning. If this persists, we may be suffering from a mental illness or mental disorder (like depression, or anxiety). We can better understand this by comparing a mental illness such as depression, with a case of the flu ? it pervades our daily life with painful symptoms.
Waking Up in the Middle of a Good Dream
When the brain is asleep and in REM dream mode it has distinct patterns not found in normal waking states. When people who are dreaming are hooked up to machines the REM mode of sleep is quite evident. Have you ever woke up in the middle of a really good dream? Then sometimes you can fall back asleep and go right to where you left off and other times you just can't? This is a real problem for humans. I have an idea to help fix this problem.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder - Who is a Malignant Narcissist?
QUESTION Number 1 - Who is a Narcissist?
What is the Addictions Recovery Measurement System?
As I climbed 15-feet on a wooden ladder to the top of an old platform, next to this wall of leathery gray flesh, I caught a good whiff of fresh animal dung that immediately cleared my sinuses. Attempting to hide my fear from my wife with a poker face, and already feeling a little queasy, we were then advised by an old man who held a hammer in his right hand, to step into a shaky bamboo cradle seat atop of this seemingly gentle 8000 lb mammoth giant. As the sweat dripped off my forehead, I knew there was no turning back from the plunge into the humid jungle while perched on an elephants' back that we had so enthusiastically planned. At last, we were elephant trekking in Thailand. Apart from the slow bumpy ride, and my thighs being chafed on the course sides of this enormous peaceful beast, the serene walk through the forest with its' beautiful and unique flora on top of one of the strongest ancient animals alive, was an unforgettably pleasant experience for both of us.
Metaphors of the Mind (Part II)
Storytelling has been with us since the days of campfire and besieging wild animals. It served a number of important functions: amelioration of fears, communication of vital information (regarding survival tactics and the characteristics of animals, for instance), the satisfaction of a sense of order (justice), the development of the ability to hypothesize, predict and introduce theories and so on.
Right Brain, Left Brain
The right brain controls the left side of the body and the left brain controls the right side of the body. The right brain is the more creative or emotional hemisphere and the left brain is the analytical and judgmental hemisphere. Anything that is new or not familiar to an individual is right brain dominant. Anything that is familiar is left brain dominant.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) At a Glance
Most narcissists (75%) are men.
The Cyber Narcissist
To the narcissist, the Internet is an alluring and irresistible combination of playground and hunting grounds, the gathering place of numerous potential Sources of Narcissistic Supply, a world where false identities are the norm and mind games the bon ton. And it is beyond the reach of the law, the pale of social norms, the strictures of civilized conduct.
The following good work from a person engaged in trying to free people from cultish programming is far better than most. It demonstrates the person is aware of mind control techniques employed in influencing people. Having said that I will now try to show how this piece is in fact an evidence of SPIN or influence that the person engaged in doing it might not even personally realize. For example Catholic exorcists are taught incantations and rituals to use that they may not or usually will not understand either the derivation or history thereof.
What are the 4 Brainwave Patterns and How Do They Effect Your Health
WHAT ARE BRAINWAVES?
The Essence of Being Human
What does it mean to be Human? Well if you reflect on your thoughts and behaviors and those of the individuals around you on this planet since the beginning of our existence here I think you will likely come to the conclusion that to wear the label Human is not exactly endearing or desirable.
The Psychology of Torture
There is one place in which one's privacy, intimacy, integrity and inviolability are guaranteed - one's body, a unique temple and a familiar territory of sensa and personal history. The torturer invades, defiles and desecrates this shrine. He does so publicly, deliberately, repeatedly and, often, sadistically and sexually, with undisguised pleasure. Hence the all-pervasive, long-lasting, and, frequently, irreversible effects and outcomes of torture.
The Attention Spanner
After a long and patient wait in queue, you reached the post office counter. Just then, the peasant sauntered over and plunked himself in front of you. Your reaction was natural. Paul Ekman, the world famous emotions scientist, dedicated his career to the study of emotional reactions. "We become aware a quarter, or half second after the emotion begins. I do not choose .... to become angry. I am suddenly angry. I can usually figure out later what someone did that caused the emotion." The transit of that compelling emotion was insidious. If only you could manage its impact!
Intro to Being an ADHD Parent
In my fifteen years of private practice working with children with ADHD, one of the common concerns that I observed by parents was the fear that they had done something, or failed to do something, that caused their child's ADHD. I guess it is normal to blame yourself when your child is having problems.
Countess Erszebet Bathory was a breathtakingly beautiful, unusually well-educated woman, married to a descendant of Vlad Dracula of Bram Stoker fame. In 1611, she was tried - though, being a noblewoman, not convicted - in Hungary for slaughtering 612 young girls. The true figure may have been 40-100, though the Countess recorded in her diary more than 610 girls and 50 bodies were found in her estate when it was raided.
HypoManiacs Often Misunderstood
Are you a Hypomaniac? If you are you have some definite advantages over others. Hypomaniacs are often superstars in their fields, but they are often misunderstood by those who work so hard to profile personalities and put individuals into neat little boxes.
Accepting New Ideas
Much of the time when a new idea comes to us, we handle that idea and move on, without ever becoming consciously aware of the process. During the times when we are consciously aware of the process of handling a new idea, we often reject that idea without understanding why we rejected it, or sometimes without even understanding that we did reject it.
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