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Alzheimer's disease is a neurological disease that causes a continuous and gradual decline in an individual's cognitive ability. The disease frequently worsens over time, and there is no known treatment, though numerous methods can be employed to lessen the intensity of the symptoms. The physiological and psychological consequences of the condition are discussed in this work.
Alzheimer's disease impacts an individual's normal functioning in all circumstances. Immobility is a symptom of the disease, with the individual finding it increasingly harder to coordinate their motions as their muscles become inflexible. As the disease progresses, mobility is reduced, as Mielke, Vemuri & Rocca (2014) note, to such an extent that independent movement becomes impossible. Incontinence is another implication for the individual with the disease as it brings about a gradual loss of bowel and bladder control. Most cases of the disease also manifest the loss of physical skills that are driven by instinct such as speech and eating as well as other activities that involve brain coordination (such as breathing and swallowing of foods).
Psychological Implications of Alzheimer’s
Being a disease that affects the brain functions, Alzheimer’s also affects the cognitive abilities of individuals. Among the psychological effects of the disease is the loss of short term memory by an individual due to the neurodegenerative characteristic of the ailment. Innes, Selfe, Brown, Rose & Thompson-Heisterman (2012) mentions the fact that disorientation is a common occurrence among individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, as such people tend to lose their short term memory and hence display confusion. Another implication of Alzheimer’s is the possible withdrawal from social connections and the subsequent depression that sets in during the middle or later stages of the disease.
Innes, K. E., Selfe, T. K., Brown, C. J., Rose, K. M., & Thompson-Heisterman, A. (2012). The Effects of Meditation on Perceived Stress and Related Indices of Psychological Status and Sympathetic Activation in Persons with Alzheimer's disease and their Caregivers: A Pilot Study. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012.
Mielke, M. M., Vemuri, P., & Rocca, W. A. (2014). Clinical Epidemiology of Alzheimer’s disease: Assessing Sex and Gender Differences. Clinical Epidemiology, 6, 37.
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