'Self is not entirely lost in dementia,' argues new review

The assumption "that without memory, there can be no self" is wrong, say researchers.

Photo credit: Darren Hauck / Getty Images

In the past when scholars have reflected on the psychological impact of dementia they have frequently referred to the loss of the "self" in dramatic and devastating terms, using language such as the "unbecoming of the self" or the "disintegration" of the self. In a new review released as a preprint at PsyArXiv, an international team of psychologists led by Muireann Irish at the University of Sydney challenge this bleak picture which they attribute to the common, but mistaken, assumption "that without memory, there can be no self" (as encapsulated by the line from Hume: "Memory alone… 'tis to be considered… as the source of personal identity").

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The cause of Alzheimer’s may be gum disease

This means the disease may be curable and a vaccine possible.

Photo credit: SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP / Getty Images
  • Bacteria in periodontitis seems to be the culprit.
  • Reported amyloid and tau buildups may be a response, not a cause.
  • Compelling research offers a genuine reason for optimism.
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A new brain implant could slow Alzheimer’s progression

One patient retained the ability to dress herself, make a simple meal, and even change her plans depending on the weather.

Illustration showing where Alzheimer's is in the brain. Credit: Getty Images.

Electrical brain stimulation has been shown to boost memory and enhance learning. Now, scientists have turned their sights on neurodegenerative diseases. Researchers at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, found they could delay cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s by using deep brain stimulation. This could allow such patients to be independent for a longer period of time. Their results were published in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

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Scientists Discovered What Causes Dementia

An international team of researchers claims to have found a major cause of dementia - an incurable brain disease.

Am elderly couple walks at the Park von Schloss Wilhemsthal covered by autumn leaves on November 1, 2011 in Calden. (Photo credit: UWE ZUCCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

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Lifestyle Changes, Not a Magic Pill, Can Reverse Alzheimer’s

The prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease is expected to triple over the next three decades, to nearly 14 million in the United States alone. 

Gerson Sobel, 93, of Rockville Center, New York swims his morning laps at the Freeport Recreation Center in New York. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Last summer, a research group from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) quietly published the results of a new approach in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. What they found was striking. Although the size of the study was small, every participant demonstrated such marked improvement that almost all were found to be in the normal range on testing for memory and cognition by the study’s end. Functionally, this amounts to a cure.

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