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Published on: November 15, 2005
Alzheimer’s ultimately affects all parts of the brain but each person is affected differently as the disease progresses. In part this is due to the nature and extent of damage being caused to different areas of the brain. Each section of the brain is known as a lobe; a lobe simply means a part of an organ (earlobe for example). Here, we examine the effects of damage to the parietal lobe of the brain.
The parietal lobes have an important role in integrating our senses. In most people the left side parietal lobe is thought of as dominant because of the way it structures information to allow us to read & write, make calculations, perceive objects normally and produce language.
Damage to the dominant parietal lobe can lead to Gerstmann’s syndrome (e.g. can’t tell left from right, can’t point to named fingers), apraxia and sensory impairment (e.g. touch, pain).
Damage to the non-dominant lobe, usually the right side of the brain, will result in different problems. This non-dominant lobe receives information from the occipital lobe and helps provide us with a ‘picture’ of the world around us. Damage may result in an inability to recognize faces, surroundings or objects (visual agnosia). So, someone may recognize your voice, but not your appearance (you sound like my daughter, but you’re not her).
Because this lobe also has a role in helping us locate objects in our personal space, any damage can lead to problems in skilled movements (constructional apraxia) leading to difficulties in drawing or picking objects up.
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