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The ambiguous relationships between aging and Alzheimer's disease : a critical literature review
Dementia : the international journal of social research and practice
One reason for the rise in the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) since the 1980s is the new association between the disease and aging. This paper explores the current representations of AD, questioning their relationships to aging, thanks to a literature review of 49 articles published in French and in English between 1995 and June 2010. Aging appears to be a concurrent diagnosis for AD, both for the lay public and for health professionals, but this confusion, which can be interpreted as a lack of medicalization of memory loss on the conceptual level, does not necessarily constitute an obstacle to medical intervention. The transformation of senile dementia into AD can diminish, as well as reinforce, stigmatization of people with AD. Moreover, elderly people with AD are subjected to both the persisting stigmas of aging and of dementia as well as, for most of them, that of feminine cognitive incompetence.
Age Factors, Aged, Aging, Alzheimer Disease/diagnosis, Alzheimer Disease/epidemiology, Caregivers/psychology, Cost of Illness, Female, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Humans, Male, Prevalence, Sex Distribution, Social Stigma
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