"You have to begin to lose your memory, if only in bits and pieces, to realize that memory is what makes our lives. Life without memory is no life at all. Our memory is our coherence our reason our feeling even our action. Without it we are nothing."-Luis Bunuel 'My Last Sigh'. 1984This paper takes a look at the most common form of dementia today. Alzheimer's disease is a progressive and irreversible neurodegenerative disorder in which higher mental faculties (such as memory), and later even motor abilities slowly decline until the sufferer is left with no sense of self or identity and a complete inability to take care of him/herself. The disease causes the death of the nerve cells in the brains of the individuals, and all the information that makes them who they are is permanently lost.
Alois Alzheimer first identified Alzheimer's Disease (AD) in 1906 when studying the case of 51- year- old Auguste D in Frankfurt Asylum.
When he began following her case in 1903, she could barely write her name. The following is an extract from Alzheimer's original case notes (which were only recently rediscovered) dated November the 26th, 1901.
"She sits on the bed with a helpless expression. What is your name? Auguste. Last name? Auguste. What is your husband's name? Auguste, I think. Your husband? Ah, my husband. She looks as if she didn't understand the question. Are you married? To Auguste. Mrs D? Yes, yes, Auguste D. How long have you been here? She seems to be trying to remember. Three weeks. What is this? I show her a pencil. A pen. A purse and key, diary, cigar are identified correctly. At lunch she eats cauliflower and pork. Asked what she is eating, she answers spinach."The effects of the disease, as we see...