Alzheimer Treatment – Neurology Example

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"Alzheimer Treatment" is a decent example of a paper on neurology. Mrs. Alexander is a 67 years old widow; she is suffering from Alzheimer’ s disease. She can be considered to be lingering between mild to moderate Alzheimer’ s. Her decision making power is fading, and she often forgets things quickly. Some of the major characteristics of Alzheimer’ s disease include senile plaques, cholinergic abnormalities, extensive neuronal loss, and neurofibrillary tangles. However, the first change that gives rise to all other pathologic alterations in the decrease in the number of acetylcholine receptors (Karch, 2013). Therefore to cope with the rapidly decreasing number of acetylcholine receptors is to treat the patient with some cholinergic drug.

Cholinergic drugs are of two kinds, they can be agonists or antagonists. Cholinergic agonists are a class of drugs that deal with chemical substances that have the capacity to promote, as well as mimic the functions performed by acetylcholine. While drugs that are cholinergic antagonists tend to inhibit the activity of acetylcholinesterase  (Kihara & Shimohama, 2004). Patients suffering from Alzheimer’ s disease usually fall short of having a sufficient amount of acetylcholine (Karch, 2013).

Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in transforming an impulse into a chemical and easing the transport between two nerve endings. Presently there is no cholinergic agonist drug that is considered suitable for treating patients with Alzheimer’ s disease (Messer, 2002). Therefore, the best-suited therapy currently available is through cholinergic antagonists (Kihara & Shimohama, 2004). Currently, the physician of Mrs. Alexander has prescribed her to take Aricept, which contains donepezil. It is among the FDA approved list of drugs for curing Alzheimer’ s disease. It is my duty to provide the patient under care with the tablets of donepezil twice a day.

Sometimes I even have to crush the tablet as she sometimes finds it hard to swallow the tablet.   As a nurse, it can be very frustrating to look after Alzheimer’ s patients. It is one of the most common forms of dementia, and it is common among elderly people who tend to forget things in no time. It is not just the loss of memory, but this disorder may lead to a change in the behavior of Alzheimer’ s patients. In severe case-patients might even forget how to perform simple tasks, and this disease may lead them to forget their identity.

Decision making becomes almost zero in the last three stages of Alzheimer’ s disease. Thus looking after patients suffering from this kind of anomalies can be very testing for the nurses. It demands a lot of labor and patience. As a nurse one must not overlook the basic requirement of the patients, a time may come when you might have to teach them how to consume food, so one must never run out of temper when taking care of these elderly.   A nurse must try to provide the patient with enough time of independence, though this does not mean that the patients are left all by themselves, a regular monitoring from a friendly distance is required.

However, there are times when a nurse needs to get close to the patient and become a director or an instructor. Further, the maintenance of balanced dietary intake and fluids is imperative to the wellbeing of Alzheimer’ s patients.  

References

Karch, A. M. (2013). Focus on nursing pharmacology (6 ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters.

Kihara, T., & Shimohama, S. (2004). Alzheimer's disease and acetylcholine receptors. Acta neurobiological experiments, 99-106.

Messer, W. S. (2002). Cholinergic agonists and the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. . CURRENT TOPICS IN MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY-HILVERSUM-, 353-358.

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