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Researching Dementia: What Does It Feel Like To Lose Your Mind?

Updated: Feb 24, 2022

Andrew shared these resources with me:

- The Comforting Fictions of Dementia Care; he showed us the short film in class

- How Much a Dementia Patient Needs to Know

- Book Extract: Oliver Sacks - Everything In Its Place

  • "People with dementia may get terrifyingly confused and disoriented."

  • "Another of my patients, who was fond of cooking and whose overall cognitive powers were still very good, found that she could no longer compare the volume of liquids in different containers; an ounce of milk did not look the same if it was poured from a glass into a pan, and ludicrous errors started to occur. The patient herself, a former psychologist, ruefully recognized this as a Piagetian error, a loss of the sense of volumetric constancy that is acquired in early childhood."

  • But the majority, I think, become calmer with time as they perhaps start to lose the sense of what they have lost and find themselves shifted into a simpler, unreflective world.

  • In the final stages of dementia, where no organised behaviours of any sort remain, one may see reflexes that are normally only seen in infancy, including grasping reflexes, snout and sucking reflexes.

and some resources from Jstor:

- Thinking about Dementia: Culture, Loss, and the Anthropology of Senility

- Uncertainties in Dementia: What Do People with Dementia Experience?

I also found this book titled 'The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind' about a woman who suffered from a dementia-like ailment caused by brain tumors. The author, Barbara Lipska, wrote a short opinion piece in the NYT.

I'm also in the Reddit threads of dementia

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