Sunday, March 29, 2009

An interesting Alzheimer's symptom

No, it's not a craving for Lebanese food, although ... I may have that after Tuesday evening up in D.C. Bob's brother Doug and his family picked us up at the hotel and we walked over to this wonderful restaurant. No recession problems there: it was packed and full of chatter and laughter. Maybe a bit too much for Bob who was pretty exhausted from the day but who held up amazingly well through the entire three days -- every bit as well as I did:)
After a glass of wine, he was even more tired and it was a difficult moment when he tried to speak to his nephew Alex but had no idea exactly where Alex was and he directed the question to Isabel, his sister in law.
This condition is called agnosia, from Latin meaning "to not know." This exhibits itself in Bob's loss of the ability to recognize things or people, not because he has forgotten them or because his eyes are not working (those have been well checked), but because the brain is not able to put together the information properly. I think agnosia causes many, many of the issues Bob struggles with; he can not easily sit down to eat a meal as he can't "find" his fork or an item on his plate. He can't "find" his shoes. It is not that he doesn't remember what they are; he can not "see" them. This is also why when his sister Carolyn arrived at his day care center, Bob could not immediately greet her; he needed her voice so he knew who she was.
Such a strange disease and how amazing is the brain.

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