This is the Alzheimer’s Society’s dementia fairy-light analogy.
Imagine the brain is a string of fairy-lights.
It’s not just memory that is affected by dementia.
Depending on which fairy-light begins to flicker, dim and go out and which part of the brain is affected by the dementia. That will determine which function is affected.
If the fairy-light at the front part of the brain starts to dim and flicker, and its this part of the brain that is affected by the dementia then it could be movement, concentration, memory, judgement, impulse control, consciousness or problem solving that become effected by the dementia.
Now imagine instead that dementia affects the upper back part of the brain and a fairy-light begins to dim and flicker in this area then touch, temperature, pain regulation and spatial awareness could be effected which could cause a trip or a fall.
Were a fairy-light at the bottom rear part of the brain flicker, and that part of the brain become affected by the dementia then vision will become difficult.
Were dementia to affect the central part of the brain this could affect memory. There are two parts of this central area that are close together, the hippocampus which controls factual memories and the amygdala which controls emotional memories. The amygdala controlling emotional memories is much more resistant to dementia.
It’s not just memory that is affected by dementia, it could be any one of the functions we’ve mentioned depending on which part of the brain is affected by the dementia.
It is possible to live well with dementia with positivity and understanding.
Share this with someone who needs to see it and watch out for the next video and post next week.
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