Varying Aspects of Alzheimer’s Disease and Implementations for Nursing Care

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This paper will provide an overview of Alzheimer’s disease. It will explore its etiology, pathophysiology, risk factors and their modification, diagnostic and medical treatment including pharmacology, health education, and nursing care of Alzheimer’s disease based off nursing literature. It will go into detail of a patient who has experienced Alzheimer’s for 11 years and their specialized plan of care including their medical history, physical assessment, concept mapping, nursing diagnoses, and specific interventions to the identified nursing problems. This plan of care will be evaluated based upon the patient’s responses. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an incurable dementia illness characterized by chronic, progressive neurodegenerative…show more content…
Black has stated that genetic causes often involve the mutation of multiple genes and have identified at least five chromosomes: 1, 12, 14, 19, and 21 (Black, 2009, p. 1894). Four genetic loci have also been identified as contributing to AD, including the amyloid precursor gene, the presenilin 1 gene, the presenilin 2 gene, and the apolipoprotein E gene on chromosome 19. Though there is not enough conclusive research to directly link AD to environmental factors (such as toxins or head trauma) or personal health (diabetes, vascular disease, heart and stroke), these issues are known to contribute to the destruction of brain cells. Understanding the etiology of brain cell loss is relevant to understanding how to effectively prevent the loss of function in the brain. For example, preventing the formation of chemicals called free radicals with antioxidants can indirectly prevent AD. Other causes of brain cell loss include a neurotransmitter called glutamate and an accumulation of beta amyloid proteins. Therefore, although the cause of AD has been unidentifiable, many contributing factors have been observed. Pathophysiology Many physiologic changes contribute to AD. Currently, theories related to the changes that cause AD include the following: “Degeneration of the cholinergic neuron and deficiency in acetylcholine, neuritic plaques that form mainly outside the

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