Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of logical thinking, memory, and slowed speech. This condition is one of the forms of dementia – acquired feeblemindedness. This central nervous system disease is usually diagnosed in elderly people over 65 but can also appear at a younger age. It is also noted that women are more likely to suffer from this disease than men. It should be noted that although this disease is considered incurable in medicine, medics assert that it can be halted in its early stages.
Signs of stage 1 (prodementia), appearing 8 years before the disease’s development and characterized as “mild cognitive impairments”:
- Distractedness and confusion, decreased concentration on specific tasks;
- Inability to remember new information, events;
- Memory deterioration;
- Forgetfulness, sluggishness in conversation, confused thoughts;
- Impaired abstract thinking.
Signs of stage 2 (early dementia):
- Gradual memory deterioration with simultaneous preservation of memories of old events (as part of episodic memory);
- Preservation of implicit (responsible for sequence of actions) and semantic (related to long-learned facts) memory;
- Aphasia (significant reduction in vocabulary and fluency of speech);
- Difficulty expressing thoughts;
- Clumsiness of movements, impaired coordination (deterioration of fine motor skills of the hands).
Signs of stage 3 (moderate dementia):
- Significant reduction in the ability to independently perform certain actions;
- Paraphasia (use of incorrect words in phrases);
- Gradual loss of writing and reading skills;
- Impaired movement coordination;
- Memory problems up to not recognizing close relatives;
- Long-term memory impairment;
- Appearance of neuropsychological disorders (inclination to wander, irritability, unprovoked aggression, alternation of laughter and tears, mood swings (so-called emotional lability), evening exacerbations, etc.);
- Occasionally – symptoms of delirium, urinary incontinence.
Signs of stage 4 (severe dementia):
- Complete dependence on external help;
- Loss of oral speech with understanding of actions and words of other people;
- Apathetic, detached state with rare flashes of aggression;
- Physical exhaustion and inability to eat independently.
The causes of Alzheimer’s disease, according to medics, include the disruption of impulse transmission between parts of the Central Nervous System, the death of brain cells, and the degeneration of entire zones of the organ due to the deposition of amyloid (a specific protein-polysaccharide complex) in brain tissues.
Separately identified are factors that influence the likelihood of this disease:
- Traumatic brain injuries,
- Low level of mental activity,
- Experienced psycho-emotional shock or depression,
- Atherosclerosis of neck or head vessels,
- Any pathologies associated with brain hypoxia,
- Elevated cholesterol and homocysteine in the blood,
- Excess weight,
- Abuse of coffee and caffeine,
- Lack of systematic physical activity.
Alzheimer’s Disease: Psychosomatics
V. Garmatyuk asserts that the psychosomatics of Alzheimer’s disease (feeblemindedness) is linked to the destruction of brain cells by one’s own emotional thought discharge.
Considering three characteristics of this ailment (irritable nature, “burnt” appearance of damage to protein threads in neurons, and the emotional area of the brain as the location of damaged cells), this author concludes that the cause of the disease is the energy of one’s own thought discharge.
He further explains that the energy of strong emotions and negative thoughts accumulates similarly to discharges in clouds. Then this energy, like lightning, discharges, tearing and damaging the neurons of the brain in the emotional zone (that is, the area of the brain responsible for human emotions). The process of neuron death resembles the burning out of threads in a light bulb.
Dr. L. Johansson, as a result of her research, found that neurotic people prone to negative emotions such as anxiety, envy, jealousy, and surliness are at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Psychological Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease
Louise Hay interprets psychosomatic Alzheimer’s disease as a result of the unwillingness to perceive the world as it is, as well as a consequence of hopelessness, helplessness, and anger. Psychologist Liz Bourbeau sees Alzheimer’s disease as a way to escape reality.
As this author explains, people who were interested in everything in their active age and had excellent memory usually suffer from this disease. However, such people did not always use their memory effectively, remembering everything indiscriminately.
At the same time, Bourbeau continues, they were prone to boasting and pride in possessing such an ability. And inside them was anger at their close ones for, as they thought, not paying enough attention to them or treating them as they would have liked.
Bourbeau writes that the emerging disease provides an opportunity to get rid of responsibility and manipulate people, especially those who care for them. According to the patients, they endured for a long time, and now they have a reason to do what they want, as they perceive their illness as a way to get revenge. Because their disease brings difficulties to relatives, they are the ones who have to fight it, not the patients themselves.
Dr. V. Sinelnikov believes that the human head is responsible for the thought process. Therefore, head problems, including Alzheimer’s disease, reflect a mismatch between a person’s feelings and mind (thoughts).
V. Zhikarentsev identifies this ailment with the desire to leave this planet and explains it as a symbol of a person’s inability to face life as it is.
Psychologist O. Rusnak believes that memory loss means the loss of experience, and experience is the life path of a specific person. The author sees the cause of the ailment in the person themselves: denial of life surrounding the person (as denying life means denying the present, and thus, oneself). Hence, it follows that the life path was traveled in vain, meaninglessly. The psychologist characterizes such a person as critical, irritable, and malicious, accustomed to seeing everything from a position of denial and aggression.
Ways of Healing
Talking about the possibilities of healing from this ailment, one should bear in mind its early stages when cognitive impairments have not yet crossed the point of no return. What should be done when a person notices the first signs and wishes to prevent the development of the disease?
- Find your psychological cause: analyze your thoughts and emotions for prolonged negativity. Yes, one can rely on the works of authors on psychosomatics who have identified and substantiated certain causes. But, firstly, not all causes they may describe, mostly typical ones; and secondly, your cause may not be among them, as each patient is unique in their personal qualities, so another characteristic or quality of character, not yet described, could have been the cause.
- If found, then it is necessary to realize in connection with what these thoughts and emotions torment you? What are your principles, views, beliefs (they can concern your life or Life in general, family, work, people, etc.) behind them?
- If you have realized and identified your destructive beliefs, then it remains to replace them with positive ones (for example, “Life is a gift that should be accepted with joy and enjoyed at every moment,” etc.).
Yes, one may object that different things happen in life. That it is not from a good life that a person becomes gloomy, etc. But again, it depends on our perception of Life. According to one wisdom, Life itself is neutral, and only the human mind invents names for it: “bad” or “good,” “joyful” or “joyless,” etc.
And finally, let’s remember a familiar thought (everyone knows it, but, for some reason, do not apply it in practice): for their mental and physical health, it is important for a person to be able to say goodbye to their past (old thoughts, beliefs, outdated and unnecessary emotions, and other psycho-emotional debris), and start living here and now.
Enjoy every moment and be healthy!