8 Pages 2059 Words
Who am I?: Alzheimer’s Disease
and the loss of personality
Each and every human being dreams of living a regular, normal life, watching their children grow up and have families of their own. But for some people, this dream along with all their memories can be erased by an ageless disease that affects more then four million Americans today (Evans). Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive disease that varies from person to person, robbing its victim of their past and future. Alzheimer’s Disease is known as the "Great Eraser" because it turns everyday normal people into helpless, lifeless individuals (Rice).
This horrible disease raises a very critical philosophical question: Does the loss of memory mean the loss of personal identity? Although most individuals who have considered this dilemma hold that forfeiture of memory equals a change or even loss of personal identity, this essay will show that this is not necessarily true. In order to fully understand how this lesser held view is, in fact, true one must first comprehend both the biological and psychological effects of Alzheimer’s. Therefore, this paper will be divided into two parts. The first part will display the causes, consequences, and treatments for Alzheimer’s. In the second section, supporting evidence will be put forth in order to show that a partial or even complete loss of autobiographical memory does not constitute a change in or the destruction of personal identity.
Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is one of the most common of the dementia-inducing illnesses. Alzheimer's is a progressive, degenerative disease that attacks the brain; causing impaired memory, thinking and behavior. A person with Alzheimer’s Disease may experience personality and behavior changes, impaired judgment, confusion and difficulty finishing thoughts, following directions or even finding the right word to say in a conversation (Evans).
Once in the advanced stages of the disease, t...
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