Looking at the spouse

imageI often observe this peculiar behavior of the person with Alzheimer’s disease, already since the first consultation and at the earliest stages of the disease. When questioned for simple autobiographical events of the last weeks or months (for example what her/she did the last marriage anniversary), she or he looks immediately at the spouse with a perplexed expression, even before trying to think to an answer. It is not clear to me if, while looking at the spouse, he/her is searching for some hint or is he/her is wondering why her/she does not have an answer to a so easy question. This behavior often contrasts with the reduced ‘explicit’ awareness of the patient of his/her cognitive deficit. However, I suppose that the perplexed face of the patient is a sign of some implicit ’emotional’ awareness of the memory deficit.



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