Understanding Dementia
Understanding Dementia

Part 1: What is Alzheimer's Disease?

Dementia is a fatal, progressive, and degenerative disease that destroys brain cells.

Dementia is not a normal part of aging. Symptoms include having difficulty remembering things, making decisions, and performing everyday activities. These changes can affect the way a person feels and acts. There is currently no way to stop the disease, but research is improving the way we provide care and will continue to search for a cure.

While dementia may be the title we give to the disease, there are many types of dementia as illustrated below. Dementia is an umbrella term. Mixed dementia is diagnosed when the person living with dementia experiences more than one type concurrently. There are however other types of dementia that we will not deal with in detail here.

The Brain as a Highway System

Let’s now explore the changing brain function in a person living with dementia. The highway system analogy used in the video below is an illustration of brain function.

The video is 10:29 minutes in length.

If you'd like to watch the video again from beginning to end or are doing so for the first time, please feel free to pause it whenever you need and jot down any questions that arise.

Video Transcripts

Download these PDFs of the Video Transcript if you would like to print a copy and save as a reference.

For Reflection

After you watch the video, take a few minutes to reflect on the following questions.  Feel free to make some notes.

  • What stood out for you in the video?
  • What question(s) do you have about what you heard or saw during the video?

Make a note of them and bring them forward during your next conversation with your health care provider or contact your local Alzheimer Society via our toll-free number 1-866-950-5465 or by email: info@alzheimer.ab.ca.

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