So far, I’ve tried to put my case that, Dementia is not Dementia! It’s not about being mad, out of one’s mind, or possessed by demons.
We are talking about, and living with, the effects of our brains slowly dying. As more and more brain cells die, more and more negative signs and symptoms impact our lives.
We know that the brain is made up of billions of brain cells that interact through trillions of interconnections. This structure seems to be held together by many more glial cells. The Glial cells and their function as more than just, ‘neural glue, is a area of growing interest and research. It seems that they maintain the brain cells and disfunction could be a reason for their decay.
Particular areas of the brain, called Lobes, seem to be responsible for specific functions. Check out the list and image below.
Movement of the body
Concentration, planning, problem-solving
Meaning of words
Touch and pressure
Fine motor (muscle) control
Balance and coordination (avoid objects and keep from falling)
Controls emotions like happiness, sadness, and love
I’m sure you are looking at the list above and the image below and putting together your changes and what areas could be affected. I know I did! This list of lobes and their functions is used as a sort of tick list and the reason why so many of us seem to share so many like signs and symptoms.
However, this is not as simple as it may sound. It is a known fact that these specific areas, the brain and glial cells, do not function in isolation. Recent discoveries have revealed that they perform all kinds of functions in the brain and the nerves that run throughout your body. The brain is not a separate entity from the body. As a result, research has exploded, and although we’ve learned volumes about this obvious conclusion, there is still much more left to learn.
When certain areas are affected, there are sure signs and symptoms that become evident.
How do they know what areas have been affected and have dead brain cells?
There are basically four ways to know what is happening inside the brain. To record the everyday changes of the person from their normal state. To scan the brain. Test for electrical activity and finally open up the brain after death.
Scanning is getting better, but at the moment, it predominantly shows where there is no blood flow, where there is a lack of or abnormal change in an electrical signal. Where there is none, that area of the brain is dead. It is seen as a black area or empty space on most scans. We hear of brain shrinkage, but the brain doesn’t shrink. It just has fewer brain cells and, therefore, smaller.
Next, I’ll look at the different known causes of ‘Neural Decay’ and look for the common links between them and the apparent differences.
Please comment on anything I have said. Thank You!
Categories:Dementia Related Post