1. What is Dementia?
Around the world, a patient develops Alzheimer’s dementia or is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s dementia approximately every 4 seconds. In the USA, there are around 500,000 people affected each year.
One speaks of dementia when at least two cognitive areas are disturbed, which can be:
In addition, patients have major problems with visuo-constructive/spatial imagination, (simplified: ability to assemble individual elements of a figure into a correct figure).
Very often patients do not come to the doctor because of short-term memory problems, but because of orientation problems.
Various brain regions are affected, e.g. the frontal brain or the occipital area (located in the direction of the occiput). The cognitive impairments can be determined, for example, by tracing shapes. Thus, tracing a cube can show the patient’s difficulty with this task. In this case one speaks of constructive apraxia.
Another example is dial or clock agnosia, the patient recognizes the stimuli correctly with the eye, but the brain cannot process them correctly. If faces can no longer be recognized, this is called prosopagnosia.
There are various tests to find out whether the patient can still make sense of a drawing. This would be comparable if you had to find your way in a foreign country with foreign characters. One is able to see the characters but cannot understand them.