There are many differences and similarities between Alzheimer’s type dementia and vascular dementia. They are expressed in a similar way, with symptoms such as disorientation, memory problems and difficulty with cognitive functions. What is different about each is the cause. Vascular dementia is a lack of blood flow to the brain which causes the brain cells to suffocate and lack their usual functionality. Alzheimer’s, on the other hand, is caused by a neurodegeneration which impacts neuronal connections. It is not always possible to determine the actual cause of dementia while the patient is alive, as for the most part both types of dementia are diagnosed by symptoms rather than cause. The diagnosis of the cause of the dementia may require a biopsy or other means of looking closely at the brain of the individual who has manifested the symptoms, and this cannot be done non-invasively or without damage to the brain and its functionality. The relationship between formal education and the development of Alzheimer’s type dementia is more difficult to explain, with theories such as cognitive resilience or rethinking the extent to which brain volume is linked to brain function. Blog Post 2
Civil commitment means that an individual has lost the capacity to make decisions for themselves that would allow them to safely function in society. Liberal and neoconservative eras have differed on the interpretation of the concept of civil commitment because they have different values and norms which are the basis of determining what functional means and who is functional. It is difficult to have objective criteria for the determination of what is a normal and functioning individual, and for this reason it can be assumed that the criteria for involuntary commitment are not always fair. Persons who are eccentric, or make choices that are deemed to be unreasonable by those who are in power and ascribe to mainstream values, can be at risk given that there is a significant subjective element to the determinations which go into the development of the criteria and evaluation which result in involuntary commitment. On the other hand, persons who cannot function due to mental or other illness should not be forced to try to make decisions that are beyond their capacity. There is therefore a need for strong ethics and open-minded critical consideration on a case by case basis in any determination.

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