He Alzheimer It is a form of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. The Symptoms This disease usually develops slowly and gets worse over the years. Undoubtedly, it is an extremely serious illness that causes great pain both to the patient himself – if the disease is not yet advanced – and, above all, to everyone around him.
The doctor Alfonso Vidal Marcos, Coordinator of Anesthesiology and Resuscitation and the Pain Department of the Quirónsalud Sur Hospital No Shed some light on what it is like the pain What people with Alzheimer’s and their companions feel.
“We know that It is a disease caused by cognitive impairment due to the aggregation of a species Brain waste This leads not only to a change in memory, but also to a complete recognition of a large part of the experience of these patients, who at first are like small children, with very simple reactions and stereotypical behaviors when faced with problems, and which then become They become uncontrolled and lose their ability to orient themselves and ultimately their self-confidence,” he explains.
Alzheimer’s, emphasizes this specialist: “It attacks the most central part of the human being, one’s self-confidence, and transforms pain into another sensory experience. like the cold, the light or the scent of flowers. Unlike other perceptions, pain requires intellectual, emotional and social engagement. In total, a step through the sieve of consciousness” Add.
“What is pain without consciousness? A simple one.” Nociception. This is the big difference between humans and other animals, the mental elaboration of cause, consequence, perspectives, etc. “It arises from nociception and complex behavior and is not subject to reflexes or instinctive automatisms,” he clarifies.
So would it be consciousness itself that grants the human condition, and those who did not have it would not be human? Dr. Vidal Marcos believes that “a question full of ethical thorns“. “Probably the human condition depends on an individual conscience, but also on a collective, social conscience. “We humans are because other people recognize us as such and we attribute to ourselves all the benefits and responsibilities of such a disease,” he explains.
“I have sometimes thought out loud about where human equality lies. When a person has a limb amputated, the result is the person plus the amputated limb. The same thing happens if we repeat the operation or if we remove the limb, spleen, or the kidneys, the liver, the lungs or even the frontal lobe of the brain. When a person loses brain capacity and does not show an electroencephalographic response, we talk about the person in the past and understand that these organs are the person and therefore they deserve due respect,” he emphasizes.
The Quirónsalud expert points out that “Death in life due to Alzheimer’s and other dementias They almost always cause much more pain to the people who lived with the patient. those whom he looks at every day as a stranger, who take care of him when he often rejects them and even rebels.” The pain of Alzheimer’s disease is often due to the inability to understand a disease that erases shared identity and history with loved ones, turning into a kind of zombie that is very difficult to control.“, he claims.
For this reason, he believes that these and other diseases “require care that often becomes almost impossible for spouses, elderly people with more than meager pensions and little support from the authorities.” “Those who have the resources can afford personal care and a safe, loving environment. Those who do not do so are doomed to despair and pain.” he clarifies.
Finally he concludes: “Yes, Alzheimer’s causes great pain, pain in spouses, in children, in friends, pain due to lack of attention.“.