Alzheimer’s Disease – The Devastating Effects

Posted on April 18 2010 Add Comments

Alzheimer’s Disease is now the most common form of dementia and there are currently around 82,000 people living with dementia in the UK today. It is suggested that 1 in 3 people of over 65 will die with some form of dementia, with new cases being diagnosed every 3.2 minutes.

Little mention is given to the number of younger people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. What is thought of as an age-related disease is becoming increasingly common in people in their 40’s and 50’s, and sometimes younger.

A Simple Explanation of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is currently still progressive and irreversible. Chemical and structural changes in the brain gradually destroy the ability to create, remember, learn, reason, and relate to others.

Alzheimer’s can gradually diminish a person’s ability to communicate. Not only do people with AD have more difficulty expressing thoughts and emotions, they also have more trouble understanding others

Who it affects

The consequences of having this disease are massive, both for the AD sufferer, and also for family and friends, who can do little more than stand by and watch the gradual disintegration, both mental and physical, in front of their eyes. You might call it a Living Bereavement.

And what about the Alzheimer’s sufferer? How much do we really know what is going in their head, once they reach the point where they are unable to communicate their thoughts and feelings to us?

My Mother was diagnosed as having Alzheimers some 12 years ago, when she was in her late 70’s. In the beginning, perhaps helped by medication, the disease progressed slowly.

Within a few short years, her memory and cognitive function had deteriorated to the point where she was unable to say complete sentences, or to call her family by their names or even to have any understanding of who we were.

Is Alzheimer’s a form of life reversal?

Although still alive, now aged 90, she is apparently little more than an eating, sleeping machine, with only occasional flashes of recognition or awareness.

Does she have a greater understanding than she can communicate; what might be called a cellular awareness? I cannot be sure but my instinct is that she does. I perceive it as her life going in reverse, so she is now at the equivalent stage of being a small child who cannot speak more than a few words and doesn’t know how to walk, but who still has thoughts and feelings which she doesn’t know how to communicate.

How must it feel to be inside her mind and to feel the anger, pain and frustration of experiencing this state of reversal?

If you’d like to get a sense of this, then I would strongly recommend reading ‘Simply Alice’, a novel by Lisa Genova, who holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Harvard. This book gives a valuable insight into the thoughts and feelings of a 50 year old woman diagnosed as having early-onset Alzheimer’s, and her struggle to fight what becomes the inevitable.

Research on Hypnotherapy and Alzheimer’s

A scientist at the University of Liverpool, Dr Simon Duff, has found that hypnosis can slow down the impacts of dementia and improve quality of life for those living with the condition.

Recent research at the Paloma Centre in Banbury, conducted in conjunction with the Alzheimer’s Society and the National College of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy, has shown that hypno-psychotherapy can be effective in improving the quality of life for Alzheimer’s patients. A year after the treatment, it was found that in all cases the effects were still present and in some cases had continued to improve without further therapeutic intervention.

Hypnotherapy for Alzheimer’s Care-Givers

The effects on a person taking care of a loved one who has Alzheimer’s can be seen in increased levels of stress and anxiety, and may also cause premature aging.

Hypnotherapy can help them to come to terms with the feelings of anger, sadness and guilt that they inevitably feel, so they are emotionally better-equipped to cope and also to come to terms with the situation. By helping themselves, they can more easily understand and support the AD sufferer.

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nikic04Author’s Details
Niki Cassar DCH DHP MAPHP(ACC)
Hypnotherapist & Past Life Regressionist – Perthshire, Scotland
Website: www.nikicassar.com Email: mindfully@nikicassar.com
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