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Diagnosis and Management

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Introduction

Alzheimer's disease generally referred to as a type of neurological disorder is characterized by difficulty in remembering things (Tanzi, 2012). This is also known as short-term memory loss accompanied by severe cases of dementia. It can broadly be defined as a neuro-generative disorder in which the nerves and tissues associated with the central nervous systems start degenerating with time (Mayeux and Stern, 2012). This disease is generally noticed in older citizens. The neurological disorder is also characterized by disorientation, behavioural changes, loss of confidence and motivation and finally death of the patient.

Task 1

1.1 Physiological origin of Alzheimer’s

Genetics have been considered as the origin of Alzheimer's because based on many researchers and studies it has been reported that this is an autosomal dominant disorder that is caused due to mutations attributed in three types of genes in the body (Zlokovic, 2013). Environmental changes also increase the risk of this disease to a higher extent, Greek researchers and philosophers reported that this generative disorder is increased or progressed due to the increasing age. 56% of old age individuals are likely to suffer from dementia or Alzheimer's at early or later stages of life.

1.2 Signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s

Dementia has been widely classified into various stages depending on the signs and symptoms exhibited by an individual. Pre-dementia is a case in which a neurological testing system can reveal the presence of cognitive disabilities associated with Alzheimer's (Porsteinsson and et.al, 2014). The most common symptom of this disorder is that a person tends to forget everyday activities which he/she performs daily. They suffer from severe mood swings which are accompanied by abrupt behavioural changes and unusual attitudes. They report difficulty in remembering everything which has recently occurred in their life. They also face problems in learning different things due to the early progression of the disease. (Mayeux and Stern, 2012). They also turn their behaviour into abusive and anxious which also results in depression, anxiety and mental trauma.

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1.3 Contributory factors to the onset of Alzheimer's

There are many contributing factors that increase the risk of Alzheimer's in the later stages of life. These factors are discussed below.

Age: With increasing age the risk of developing Alzheimer's increases. At the age of 65, the disease starts progressing at a very high intensity (De Felice and Ferreira, 2014).

Gender: According to the survey it has been reported that women are more likely to cause Alzheimer's then men.
Family history: If Alzheimer's is present in history then the members of the same family are likely to encounter the same disease at later stages of life.

Genetic Disorder: During pregnancy, if a child is diagnosed with Down syndrome genetic disorder then there are more chances that he/she will suffer from Alzheimer's in the later stages of life (Sankaranarayanan and et.al, 2013).

Task 2

2.1 Process of referral to identified specialist services in Alzheimer's

Generally, referrals in the case of Alzheimer's are identified when a GP is not able to handle the patient without the support of a specialist (Komurcu and et.al, 2016). It usually involves the transfer of responsibility from one GP to another health professional so that they are treated effectively. Referrals are made so that proper diagnosis and treatment are provided to all patients who are suffering from a degenerative neurological disorder.

2.2 Investigative processes and procedures involved in assessing

Alzheimer's is usually investigated by reviewing the medical history of the patient. A Various physical test can be applied in order to study the neurology associated with the disease (Cohen and et.al, 2013). Advancements in magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography and single photon emission tomography can be used so that physicians can have a detailed idea about the cerebral pathology and stages of Alzheimer's that have affected the patient's central nervous system. There is one more method known as the assessment of intellectual functioning which helps in determining the memory reattainment of an individual (Ju et. al,2013).

Task 3

3.1 Compare and contrast care services available in relation to Alzheimer's

There are variety of care services that is available for patients suffering from Alzheimer's. All the service users should be given independence and mobility so that can be physically active and mobile throughout the day (Petersen and et.al, 2013). Carers who are associated with specific individuals should also provide them with physical support and care so that they are able to perform various activities.

3.2 Roles and responsibilities of the professionals in relation to Alzheimer's

The main role and responsibility of health and social care professionals is to provide appropriate information and advice, support and care to all the patients who are suffering from Alzheimer's (Lock, 2013). If a person is not behaving in a proper manner and is constantly forgetting different things then it is the duty of the GP or physician to make verbal or telephonic conversation with the individual. People who are appointed as community nurses should ensure that effective primary care services are provided to all patients. With the advancement in dementia or Alzheimer's stage, the care and support given to all the service users should be satisfactory (How Health and Social Care Professionals Can Help, 2016).

3.3 Ranges of treatment available for patients with Alzheimer's

Different range of treatments have been identified by physicians and researchers in order to successfully treat individuals suffering from Alzheimer's. Medications, clinical interventions, care services and feeding tubes are some treatments available for Alzheimer's (Tanzi, 2012). Drugs such as rivastigmine, donepezil, and acetylcholinesterase inhibitors are some medications that are prescribed to these patients. Psychosocial interventions involve emotional and behavioural cognition therapies which can help in support to a great extent (Mayeux and Stern, 2012).

3.4 Monitoring processes involved in Alzheimer's

Generally, there are two types of processes which can help in monitoring Alzheimer's. The initial one is baseline assessment and the second option is the ongoing evaluation on the basis of the diagnosis of Alzheimer's (Zlokovic, 2013). When the patient initially visits for diagnosis and evaluation then it is the duty of the physician to maintain a mini-mental state examination statement so that they are able to primarily focus on cognition and functional disability associated with the patient. The ongoing evaluation should be continued by the patient as per the direction of physicians so that gradual positive changes are noticed in health of the individual (Porsteinsson and et.al, 2014).

Task 4

4.1 Extent to which an individual diagnosed with Alzheimer's would need to adapt his/her lifestyle

It is very important to bring about considerable changes in the overall lifestyle of an individual so that the impact of disease do not affect the mental state of a person to a greater extent (De Felice and Ferreira, 2014). According to the cognitive return theory, neural functioning can be gradually increased by engaging in positive brain activities such as playing music, brain puzzles, social gatherings and interactions and education.

4.2 Range of strategies that would help individuals cope with Alzheimer's

Developing a daily routine will help a patient in providing care services in an effective manner (Sankaranarayanan and et.al, 2013). In the majority of the cases, it is noticed that a person is not able to tie their shoes or place clothes in a hamper but providing them care and support will help them in practising their daily activities on an independent basis. They should also be allowed to join various social and help groups so that social interactions are increased

4.3 Prognosis and potential long term outcomes for the individual for Alzheimer's

It is very difficult to diagnose Alzheimer's at the initial stages because the progression of these diseases is not enhanced during the starting years of life (Komurcu and et.al, 2016). The symptoms can be diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment to memory loss which increases at later stages of life. The life expectancy of a person is reduced due to the occurrence of Alzheimer's as this neurological disorder increases the degeneration as soon as a person grows older (Petersen and et.al, 2013).

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Conclusion

The overall report was based on the diagnosis and management required in handling patients suffering from Alzheimer's. Physiological characteristics were discussed in the report which were accompanied by a range of treatments, investigative procedures and interventions. Lastly, the study also included the prognosis and long-term outcomes of Alzheimer's.

References

  • Cohen, R.M. and et.al., 2013. A transgenic Alzheimer rat with plaques, tau pathology, behavioural impairment, oligomeric aβ, and frank neuronal loss. The Journal of Neuroscience.
  • De Felice, F.G. and Ferreira, S.T., 2014. Inflammation, defective insulin signaling, and mitochondrial dysfunction as common molecular denominators connecting type 2 diabetes to Alzheimer's disease. Diabetes. 
  • Ju, Y.E.S. and et.al., 2013. Sleep quality and preclinical Alzheimer's disease. JAMA neurology.
  • Komurcu, H.F. and et.al., 2016. Plasma levels of vitamin B12, epidermal growth factor and tumour necrosis factor-alpha in patients with Alzheimer's dementia. International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences.
  • Lock, M., 2013. The Alzheimer conundrum: Entanglements of dementia and ageing. Princeton University Press.
  • Mayeux, R. and Stern, Y., 2012. Epidemiology of Alzheimer's disease. Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in medicine.
  • Petersen, R.C. and et.al., 2013. Mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease in the community.Annals of neurology.
  • Porsteinsson, A.P. and et.al., 2014. Effect of citalopram on agitation in Alzheimer disease: the CitAD randomized clinical trial. Jama.
  • Sankaranarayanan, R. and et.al., 2013. Assessing the French Alzheimer's plan. Nat Genet.
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