Alzeimer's and memory

Essay by eyeluveuroCollege, UndergraduateA, April 2004

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Being able to recall the most meaningful memories is the best human quality anyone can have. Having the ability to transfer one self from the present time into the past by just closing your eyes and imaging the scenario is the best way of capturing the past and being able to bring it back to life. Being able to remember is easy for most of us, but unfortunately not everyone has the capability to remember. People with Alzheimer's disease have no judgment of whether they will lose their ability to remember or not, it just happens. Alzheimer's is one of the most socially destructive diseases. It not only affects the ability to remember, but the entire body as well. AD robs a person of their identity and disintegrates their social status. The people around you start to treat you differently because you aren't who you used to be, you have no recollection of what occurred last night, cannot remember your own family, and the family has to live with knowing that every time you wake up you will not remember them.

As well as the personal freedoms you enjoyed before the disease started to diminish your life, you are left completely helpless in someone else's care.

Identity is the best way to distinguish individuals. Each person is free to express themselves in any shape or form. But when your identity is taken away by this disease, you have nothing left. AD takes away a person's right to remember and their right to move freely. This is how AD works: the brain with AD shrinks, "the cortex is thinned and the atrophy diffuse, though most severe in the frontal, temporal and occipital lobes" (Mahendra, 128). About 55% to 70% loss of neurons occurs, from the deeper cortical layers, and possibly a...