Alzheimer's disease was discovered by a German neurologist, Dr. Alois Alzheimer. In 1906 he autopsied the brain of a woman who had died after years of progressive dementia. Her brain tissue showed abnormal clumps and irregular knots of brain cells. Today, these clumps (now called plaques) and knots (now called tangles) are considered hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease.
Once affected by this disease, the ability for work and play become compromised; the threat of loss of control and loss of independence may lead to difficulties with self-image and the sense of competence and may cause anxiety, depression and further physical ailments. An adequate level of adjustment is thus crucial to maintain both physical and emotional well-being.
Creative techniques for adapting to changes and maintaining control may need to be employed. Children will need information conveyed to them in a level that they can understand. Understanding and patience are needed to assist each person involved in the mourning of losses or changes. In other words, the adjustment process calls upon the need for healthy coping skills.