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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board


Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Board Index


Re: Lucy update
Jul 4, 2012
[QUOTE=teteri66;5012313]You make a very good point. You don't really know what you are dealing with. Is there a psychiatrist at the hospital that you can consult with? I've wondered all along if it was some sort of mental illness caused by chemical imbalances in the brain rather than some type of dementia.[/QUOTE]
Throughout this whole ordeal, many people talk about these mental conditions as if they are separate diseases. In fact, after a lot of thinking, I don't think there is a distinction.

From what everyone says, it seems that dementia is a group of conditions that you can define as having physical, or anatomical changes to the brain, either in deposits or in atrophy or some such. Yet, when one reads into the official definition of dementia, dementia is merely collection of symptoms in which affected areas of cognition may be memory, judgement, and problem solving, which, of course, eventually involves progressively larger portions of brain functions.

Psychiatrists talking about "mental" illness as opposed to some sort of "organic"-based illness. Yet, psychiatrists will freely admit that their "mental illness" do have a biochemical origin. Just because you cannot see an anatomical difference does not mean there are no physical abnormalities. Biochemical changes are on the molecular level and are invisible to pathological examination. Nevertheless they are still physical changes.

Ditto may be true for seizure type conditions. There are abnormalities in the brain, either on the molecular level or on the larger anatomical level, that disrupts normal brain function. As in the case of Nina's poor late brother, seizure activities can also result from physical altercations to the brain.

So it stands to reason that all these conditions are merely symptoms, with their root causes tightly interrelated. Often times, symptomic treatments are alike, despite different assignment as either dementia or mental illness. I guess what I am trying to say here is that perhaps discussions of dementia vs mental illness, and how seizure conditions may fit in may be merely semantic arguments. Teteri, I don't really mean to discount your point here, because I really think what you have said has a lot of validity and gives me much fruit for thought. I am just sitting around keeping my brain busy while Lucy is in surgery.





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