Windows of Lucidity

In some patients afflited with Alzheimer’s Disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, age-related dementia, and some other neurodegenerative diseases, the patients, after having lost a significant amount of their memory and cognitive abilities, will “snap out of it” for brief periods, and temporarily regain some (or in rare cases, all) of their mental function. I’ve always wondered why this happens, but after reading the account of the man who was in a coma for 19 years, and then came out of it, I think I have some idea where these windows of lucidity come from.

I think, perhaps, that since memories and functions are stored “holographically” (that is, in a distributed fasion throughout the brain), and since the brain’s functions are remarkably plastic, that as the neurodegenerative disease progresses, the patient’s brain attempts to work around the spots damaged by the disease (much as it did in the 19-year coma patient who woke up and regained a great deal of function), and connnect to the areas that are still reasonably functional.

Just food for thought…


One Response to “Windows of Lucidity”

  1. James Hunaban Says:

    Well, that’s one theory. It’s difficult to work out. I am sadly watching my father deteriorate with Lewy Bodies. And he sometimes has moments of clear thinking.

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