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what is Dementia and what does it do?

The case study that I chose was Case #19- The Case of Fred (Gorenstein & Comer 2015)

Fred suffers from a type of dementia called Alzheimer’s disease.  Fred portrays almost all symptoms of a form of  Dementia; Alzheimer’s Disease. The cognitive functioning decline of memory , learning, attention, planning, decision making, language ability, visual perception, and social awareness in this patient are all effected by this disease (Morrison, 2014).

Fred exhibits forgetfulness, agitation, cognitive decline, and mild aphasia.  He does have symptoms of depression as well. (Gorenstein & Comer  2015).

Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia. Dementia what exactly is it and what does it do? Dementia isthe loss of cognitive functioning such as thinking, remembering, reasoning as well as behavior.Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease patients’ abilities eventually become impaired enough tointerfere with their daily activities. As the individual’s cognitive functions worsen with theprogression of the disease some of the other functions that become impaired include memory,language skills, visual perception, problem solving, self-management, as well as the ability to focus and pay attention (Pereira, 2017). Dementia/Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that starts out basically unnoticeable (mildest stage) and will progress in severity to the pointwhere the patient will need continues care (severest stage) for all their activities even their mostbasic functions (Bowden, 2016)

Once the disease has progressed far enough for symptoms to begin showing the brain has already begun to lose neurons (nerve cells). The once healthy nerve cells cease performing, lose their connections to other nerve cells therefor actually begin to die (Bowden, 2016). As we age it is not uncommon to lose some neurons but individuals suffering from detention have a much greater loss than that of someone simply aging normally. Dementia/Alzheimer’s disease is most common as we age however it isn’t a routine part of growing older since countless individuals live well into their 90s and even longer never demonstrating any signs of dementia. The actual origins of dementia differ depending on the types of changes in the brain. Frontotemporal disorders are a type of dementia more common in middle age and Alzheimer’s is most common in the elderly, but these are only two of the different types of dementia and there are several other types (Crowe, 2015). Symptoms of dementia can include some or all the following; in the earliest stages trouble remembering names, conversations and special occasions, lethargy and quite often depression can also be signs in the beginning (Crowe, 2015). When the disease advances some signs may involve decreased communication skills, reduced judgement, uncertainty, behavior changes, eventually problems in speaking, swallowing and even walking (Crowe, 2015).


Bowden, S. C., Crowe, S. F., Klekociuk, S. Z., Saunders, N. L., & Summers, M. J. (2016).Diagnosing mild cognitive impairment as a precursor to dementia: Fact or fallacy?. Australian Psychologist, (5), 366. doi:10.1111/ap.12178

Crowe, S. F. (2015). Assessing the neurocognitive disorders of the diagnostic and statisticalmanual of mental disorders (Fifth Edition). Australian Psychologist, 50(1), 1-5.doi:10.1111/ap.12104

Gorenstein, E., & Comer, J. (2015). Case studies in abnormal psychology (2nd ed.). New York,NY: Worth Publishers. ISBN: 9780716772736

Pereira, T., Lemos, L., Cardoso, S., Silva, D., Rodrigues, A., Santana, I., & … Madeira, S. C.(2017). Predicting progression of mild cognitive impairment to dementia usingneuropsychological data: a supervised learning approach using time windows.BMC Medical Informatics & Decision Making, 171-15. doi:10.1186/s12911-017-0497-


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