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Learning And Memory: Parkinson’s Disease (Essay Sample)


Memory is not possible without learning, and neither learning nor memory is always conscious. You will learn about the various memory systems in Chapter 13 and what makes learning possible. Integrate what you learn from this week's chapter, the Sapolsky video, and the 4 links I provide below. Explore the different memory systems and memory impairments. For example, choose a neurological event/disease that affects memory (i.e., Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Frontotemporal Dementia, seizure disorder, hypoxia, toxic exposure, stroke); describe which memory system is affected (i.e., declarative – episodic, semantic, non-declarative)… which area of the brain is impacted… what functional deficits might we see in the individual suffering from this impairment? OR simply explore the memory systems, naming at least one impairment that impacts each (i.e., stroke, head injury, hypoxia, toxic exposure).


Learning and Memory

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Learning and Memory


Memory is the storage of information in our brains, and it can take several different forms. The amount of time the brain can store the data and the type of information determines the type of memory as well. Beginning in the 1980s, several ideas have emerged regarding the memories that can be consciously recollected and those that cannot. Consequently, these ideas led to the discovery that several separate systems such as the amygdala, cerebellum, neostriatum, and hippocampus are what make up the memory. The operations of these systems are necessary for supporting an individual’s behavior. Memories are majorly categorized into short-term (working memory) and long-term memories. Several neurological diseases are known to affect the memory systems which can lead to a decline in the brain’s cognitive abilities. One example of such diseases is Parkinson's disease. The paper aims at discussing the impact of the Parkinson’s disease on the mind as well as the physical effects of the disease on an individual.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) occurs due to the insufficient action and formation of dopamine in the neurons around the brain area known as the substantia nigra, which results in a low stimulation of the motor cortex by the basal ganglia (Mastin, 2010). The disease results in rigid muscles, loss of physical movement, postural instability and tremor. The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease develop at a very slow rate over several years. During the initial stages, a victim may experience mild symptoms such as tremor on one side of the body. During the second and third stages of the disease, the symptoms start getting worse as the victim experiences walking problems and loss of balance. However, during these two stages, the victim is still able to carry on their daily activities. At the final stages of the disease, the victim is fully dependent on other individuals to care for them due to severe symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations and stiffness in the legs which limit the victim from most activities.

Dementia and Parkinson’s Disease

Dementia in patients with Parkinson’s disease is caused by deposition of abnormal microscopic clumps primarily composed of alpha-synuclein in the substantia nigra (Siderowf, 2017). Resultantly, these clumps lead to a degeneration of the nerve cells responsible for producing dopamine. Several non-motor symptoms apart from the typical motor symptoms of Park

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