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The link between dementia and your personality

Can your personality or your outlook on life increase your risk of developing dementia? This is a possibility according to a study from Finland. Heart problems and inflammation in the past has been linked to feeling of distrust, anger or hostility. In addition, does dementia change your personality or magnify it? In my years of nursing, I have seen Alzheimer patients angry and combative with care and taking meds, and I question what type of person they were in life. I know caregivers wonder if everyone with dementia are nasty to people? Those of you who are caring for someone with dementia, are asking, is the never happy, always angry attitude comes with the dementia as par for the course or is it just a magnification of the persons personality? I have seen people with dementia be so sweet and just oblivious to the world around them and they are always cooperative with care if the care if done without any form of malice or threat. Even though there are the mean dementia patients and the sweet dementia patients, does the dementia magnify the personality, or is it the dementia that creates either or type of patient?

Alzheimer’s disease patients sometimes have personality changes that can be extremely negative. Formerly sweet loved ones can become argumentative and even verbally, emotionally or physically abusive. Alzheimer’s does create personality changes, but are these changes actually changes or the actually personality being exposed. Many individuals with Alzheimer’s exhibit changes in their personality before any cognitive impairment is noticed. This makes the question a little harder is it the dementia or the magnification of the personality. As a nurse I have experienced families stating that their mom or dad where not nice to them when they were younger. This would help to explain the dementia patient that is combative, angry, but what about the sweet and easy going dementia patient. It is possible that it is somewhat related to personality, but that may not always be the case, since dementia does change people.

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