Anosognosia is not
denial, but the lack of knowing that an impairment, deficit, or illness
exists. It results from physical changes in brain cells most typically
in the right front side of the brain as well as in part of the lobes
directly just behind. Decreased self-awareness results from these brain
changes. To put it another way, “our right brain is wired to detect
anomalies and new information and incorporate these into our sense of
reality. When something happens to damage that part of the brain, the
left brain seeks to maintain continuity of belief, using denial,
rationalization, confabulation, and other tricks to keep one’s mental
model of the world intact” says neurologist Dr. V.S. Ramachandran of
the New York Times.
The most frequent problem we see in our Geriatric Care Management
Practice is the person is no longer able to perform their activities of
daily living (ADLs) functions such as cooking, bathing, dressing,
financial management, taking medications, or remembering appointments.
When confronted, there is vehement denial anything is “wrong” and may
react with anger and defensiveness.
- Ramachandran , v.s. (1995). Anosognosia in parietal lobe syndrome. Consciousness and Cognition, 4(1)
- Ott, B.R.Lafleche, G.,Wheliham, W.M., Burongiorno, G.W., Albert,
M.S. % Fogel, B.S. (1996). Impaired awareness of deficits in Alzheimer
disease. Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders, 10 (2).
- Xavier Amador, Anna-Lica, and Ph.D. Johanson, I am Not Sick I Don’t Need Help!Publisher: Vida Pr
- Antoine C1, Antoine P, Guermonprez P, Frigard B., Awareness of deficits and anosognosia in Alzheimer's disease. Encephale. 2004 Nov-Dec; 30(6):570-7