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Alzheimer's Disease & Problems with Inhibition - DementiaGuide.com
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Alzheimer's Disease


While memory loss is a symptom that people typically first think of when they think of Alzheimer's disease , there are also a range of behavioural problems. Damage in certain areas of the brain can cause behavioural problems which can affect both families and caregivers. The majority of these behavioural problems can be traced to damage in the frontal lobe .

The frontal lobe is responsible for many important higher level functions such as thinking, reasoning, and language. These are the functions that make us who we are, to ourselves and others. Thus, when this area suffers damage from Alzheimer's or another disease, it can greatly affect a person, and those who care about him/her.

There are three areas in particular which affect how each of us behaves: motivation, goal-directed behaviours and inhibition . Problems with inhibition can be very distressing for both the caregiver as well as the patient. The failure of the frontal lobe to properly inhibit behaviours can cause a wide range of problems. At one end of the spectrum, there are seemingly minor failures of inhibition, such as when the person tries to put silverware out on a table that is already set for dinner. Normally, the sight of the prepared table would stop the person from trying to set it, but if the brain does not inhibit this response, they may still try to do it. At the other end of the spectrum are behaviours which people typically think of as failures of inhibition such as these socially inappropriate behaviours like swearing, spitting or sexually disinhibited behaviours, that are not normal for the person performing them. Behaviours like this can understandably cause a great deal of stress for the caregivers and families of patients. Having a better understanding of why this happens can sometimes help them to cope with the changes they see in their loved one.


See Also:
Symptom Library > Behaviour > Inappropriate Language and Behaviour
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Last updated December 7, 2018
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