Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Coming to Terms

Today is World Alzheimer's Day.

There is very little awareness about dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease in India.

The dictionary definition of Dementia [ de•men•tia (dĭ-měn'shə)n. ] is
"Deterioration of intellectual faculties, such as memory, concentration, and judgment, resulting from an organic disease or a disorder of the brain, and often accompanied by emotional disturbance and personality changes.”

This usually afflicts the elderly. The milder starting stages are usually ignored as age related memory problems. When the disease progresses and the undesirable aspects manifest themselves it is often misunderstood by patients’ families.

It is very important for the family, friends, neighbours and caregivers to be very patient and understanding. The patient is not a target for ridicule or reprimand. The patient is not doing inappropriate things or forgetting things deliberately. It is a condition over which they have no control, and medical science has not yet been able to crack the puzzle and find a solution either.

Just as we show sympathy for a person with a fractured limb, a defective kidney or a problematic heart, we need to realize that the brain also is just another organ in the body and can be physically affected by a deteriorative condition.

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