St. John Fisher College
Mrs. Yowell is a 90-year-old woman who is a resident of a long-term care facility. She was alert and mentally quite capable until about a year ago when she began to manifest signs and symptoms of dementia. A review of her medical records failed to document a thorough analysis of her dementia, but a diagnosis of “probable Alzheimer disease” was recorded.
What are the common manifestations of dementia?
The definition of Dementia is “a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. It is caused by physical changes in the brain.” (Common Types of Dementia, 2012). The first manifestations of Dementia …show more content…
If left untreated it can cause permanent damage but, it is usually corrected by injections of thiamine.
Another cause of confusion/delirium in elderly patients is an adverse drug reaction or interactions with another drug. Mrs. Yowell could have been given a new medication that is directly affecting her mental status. Nearly 70% of residents in long term facilities take nine or more medications (Gillick, 2012). Elderly patients have slower clearance rates of drugs through their liver and kidney thus leading to drug accumulation (Gillick, 2012). There should be a regular review of medications in order to anticipate and keep on top of any potential changes.
Discuss in detail the organic brain/neuronal alterations that are typical of Alzheimer disease?
The changes that occur in the brain with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are threefold. The first is amyloid plaque, this is abnormal clumps of protein found outside of the nerve cells. The protein pieces are in the fatty membrane that is around the brains nerve cells. The amyloid is a protein that is snipped from a larger protein (amyloid precursor protein) during metabolism (Copstead, 2010). These clumps form plaque and can block cell-to-cell signaling (Common Types of Dementia, 2012). In a healthy brain the fragments are broken down and eliminated before they turn into plaque. Without the ability to signal the brain