A Critical Review Of The Literature On The Psychological-Physiological Effects On Patients Suffering From Dementia And Living In Community In England

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A critical review of the literature on the psychological-physiological effects on patients suffering from Dementia and living in community in England




A History of Dementia1


Types of Dementias6

Alzheimer's Disease6

Vascular Dementia8

Lewy Body Dementia9

Theme 1: Depressive behaviour in patients of Dementia10

Theme 2: Agitated Behaviour of People suffering from Dementia12

Theme 3: Loss of Memory13



A History of Dementia

The terminology dementia has been historically entangled with the idea of aging and was perceived to be a result of aging, which made the history a bit contentious and complicated. Both the relationship of old age and the nature of aging have been under debate and argument for a decade. The major concerns of this debate are whether to view the normal aging process as pathological or, conversely, whether to view the normal aging process as natural and view dementia as part of this natural process. For instance, Baddeley (2003) remarks that this debate has been focused on prescriptive behaviours and procedures in aging - “whether senility in old age is normal, whether aging per se leads inevitably to death, and whether normal aging is a disease " (p. 16). The debate is not a minor one. If the adversities connected with the normal process of aging are perceived and expected to be natural, dementia could be considered a change not requiring much special medical investigation or concern beyond that already dedicated to issues of older age. Obviously, in today's modern world, dementia is viewed as a pathological process and is the source of much investigation and concern. However, it was not until the late 1800s, that the term senility began to be associated with this pathological perception.

Before this, features of occurring senility were linked with the old age. By the late 1800s senility came to be regarded as "the decrepitude and weakness that pointed towards old age," and slowly these idea and perception of weakness gained a medical attention. During early 1900s, dementia was still thought of as a feature normal to the aging process, even shortly after Alzheimer, in 1906, described the pathological nature of the dementia bearing his name (p. 15). In fact, "until the 1980s, senility I was I not central either to a normalized gerontology or to the social sciences and humanities of medicine". Still, Alzheimer's groundbreaking work, because it biological dementia and rendered it understandable as a disease process, likely sparked the first ideas associating dementia behaviours with pathology and not as part of the normal aging process. Alexopoulos (2003) clearly explained that, in 1909, the physician who created the term geriatrics, I. L. Nascher, set out to distinguish old age from disease, assuming that old age was a normal stage of the lifespan, albeit one that often necessitated medical care. However, like other physicians of his time, Nascher found the task particularly daunting, if not impossible, and although he did formulate notions of what distinguished normal from pathological, the distinction remained quite fuzzy. In the mid-1900s, the debate about how to view senility - as a pathological state or ...
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