The disease we forget about

Lonely man in a boat in the middle of the troubled sea. He throws the fishing rod again and again, trying to hold objects in his hands, but they slip out of weak fingers. The young New York artist-multiplier Hayley Morris used a drawn and shake animation to tell how a person with Alzheimer’s disease feels. We asked experts to comment on the video.

“Every day my grandmother wraps her things in a sheet and ties it with a knot. She tells relatives that she has not been living with us for a long time and right now she leaves for her village. Once got angry and alone twisted a heavy carpet with a roll. I also wanted to take it with me, ”says Tatyana, the granddaughter of an 80-year-old woman with syndromes of memory loss

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and unmotivated aggression, which sometimes accompanies Alzheimer’s disease.

Today it is impossible with a probability of 100% to say which people are more susceptible to Alzheimer’s diseases: with high or low intelligence, men or women, smokers or not. It is impossible to confidently and answer the question whether the disease is transmitted genetically. So far, one thing is known for certain – this disease is closely related to aging. Get such a diagnosis under the age of 40 is almost impossible.

The development of the disease occurs according to one scenario with small individual characteristics. At first, problems with memory begin, then coordination of movements is disturbed, gradually a person ceases to recognize loved ones, forgets how to handle well -known objects, and becomes dependent on extraneous assistance. Finally, speech, hearing and every opportunity to serve yourself disappears. Some types of dementia are cured, but the recipe for Alzheimer’s disease has not yet been found. A special protein accumulates in the brain, forming plaques and glomeruli from damaged neurons, which leads to the destruction of the nervous paths and the decay of the personality.

Alexander Sonin, psycholinguist, cognitiveologist:

“The main advantage of this video is not how accurately he conveys the patient’s condition, but that with the help of artistic means the author makes the viewer empathize, sympathize. In my opinion, not everything in the proposed metaphor exactly reproduces the patient’s condition. For example, the perception of a person – even suffering from cognitive disorders – is not much like catching random objects in the dark waters of the surrounding world. Man is active by nature, he lives that he solves problems. In other words, it is more inherent in us not to wait for which object will accidentally fall on the hook, and to look important for us right now.

I would also like to note one point that did not find a display in the video. On the screen we see how Alzheimer’s disease, causing the death of brain cells, gradually destroys intelligence – preventing the recognition of objects, violating their use skills, depriving the ability to understand speech. But for others, the main problem is most often changes in behavior: aggression, constant outwardly not motivated anxiety, night wandering ”.

Irina Roshchina, clinical psychologist, leading researcher at the NCPZ RAMS:

“The video is quite accurately reflected in the symptoms of the disease. Wood is a tree of memory that crumbles in the hands of a person. Cubes are problems with speech, and flickering photos are fragmented memories from childhood. The hero of the film takes the pipe from the wrong side – it means that he forgets the purpose of objects. The rope is confused, it captures it more and more, and now he no longer knows who he is actually. However, I’m not sure that a person who is unfamiliar with Alzheimer’s disease understands everything correctly.

In addition, I did not like at all how the hero is depicted. It is unpleasant, as if without skin. The image created by the author causes rejection, not sympathy. People suffering from this disease are not at all like that. They are someone close, they love them, they care about them. Do relatives want to see a member of their family depicted like this? I can give an example of the documentary film “Genius Marian”*. It was shot by American director Benker White for several years about his mother. The woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease lives in the province, surrounded by children and grandchildren. Its history develops on the screen. Of course, she also manifest the same symptoms, but with what tenderness, love is made of the film “.