Is Identity Lost due to Alzheimer’s Disease?
Identity is what defines a person. According to the American Heritage
dictionary, identity is, “the set of characteristics by which an individual is
Family, friends, memories, personality, psychological state,
intelligence, and language: these are all factors that contribute to one’s identity.
When such things are lost or forgotten, identity is consequently lost as well. All of
these factors are altered in Alzheimer’s disease. Not only are they changed in the
patient, but in the caregivers and close family members, too. Therefore,
Alzheimer’s disease results in the loss of identity in patients and their families.
Alzheimer’s disease was first defined by Alois Alzheimer, a German
physician, in 1906. One of his patients showed progressing dementia over a
period of a few years, eventually followed by death. Alzheimer then found
changes in the patient’s brain that are now known to be characteristic of the
disease. This discovery resulted in the disease being named after him.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, irreversible disease that affects the
elderly and has one prominent symptom: dementia. Dementia is characterized by
the impairment of brain functions including memory, problem-solving skills, motor
skills, social skills, personality, intelligence, and emotional reactions. Dementia
causes a lapse in memory, known as amnesia, which is usually the most
common problem associated with the disease. Atrophy, or shrinking of the brain,
is also present in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Severe language impairment
. The general background information on Alzheimer’s disease was found in multiple sources,
therefore not cited in the body of the paper because it was determined to be general knowledge on the
subject. See works consulted for a list of references which were consulted for background information.