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Understanding alzheimer

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Understanding alzheimer

  1. 1. DEMOGRAPHICS •Currently there are approximately 5.3 million people in America diagnosed with Alzheimer‟s dementia. •That translates into 14% of America‟s over the age of 71, and over 50% of America‟s over the age of 85. •The aging process is a complex process unique to every individual.
  2. 2. WHAT INFLUENCES HOW PEOPLE AGE? •Heredity •Lifestyle/activity level •Culture •Physical disease •Environmental factors •Social support network •Mental and emotional condition
  3. 3. CHANGES LINKED TO AGING PROCESS •Vision loss •Hearing loss •Inability to taste certain flavors •Sensitivity to temperature •Decline in pain threshold •Some loss in coordination/balance •Loss of skin elasticity and changes in skin pigmentation •Hair loss and pigment change
  4. 4. PROBLEMS ATTRIBUTED TO MEMORY DIFFICULTIES •Fatique •Grief •Depression •Medication •Alcohol •Vision and hearing loss •Diet •illness/infections
  5. 5. DEMENTIA •Dementia is a broad term used to describe loss of memory, intellect, social skills and ordinary emotional responses. It is caused by deterioration in several areas of the brain. •The person with dementia may find it increasingly difficult to perform previously familiar tasks, such as remembering, self care, numeracy skills and even speaking.
  6. 6. DEMENTIA •The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer‟s Disease. •There is no known cause to Alzheimer‟s disease, and although it is not part of aging, the most significant risk factor is age. •Stroke or other conditions that affect brain function can cause dementia.
  7. 7. WHO GETS DEMENTIA? •The majority of people with dementia are older people, though not every person will develop dementia in old age. About one in four people over the age of 85 may have dementia.
  8. 8. WHAT ARE THE EARLY SYMPTOMS? •Difficulties in remembering, particularily recent events. •Difficulties with performing familiar tasks. •Confusion about time and place. •An inability to express your thoughts. •Problems understanding what others are saying. •Problems misplacing things. •A loss of motivation.
  9. 9. GLOBAL COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT •In addition to memory impairment, at least one of the following: •Personality •Abstract Thinking •Judgment •Language use •Ability to perform complex physical tasks •Ability to recognize objects or people.
  10. 10. SOME CAUSES OF DEMENTIA •Alzheimer‟s Disease •Parkinson‟s Disease •Vascular Dementia •Pick‟s Disease •Lewy Body Dementia •Alcohol Dementia
  11. 11. REVERSIBLE DEMENTIA •Caused by drugs, depressions, infections, brain tumors, head injury, etc. •Goes away or gets better with treatment.
  12. 12. IRREVERSIBLE DEMENTIA •Get progressively worse •Cannot be cured •Some examples are Alzheimer‟s Disease, Vascular Dementia, Lewy Body Disease, Parkinson‟s Disease
  13. 13. ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE •Most common form of Dementia. •A progressive, degenerative disease that causes changes in brain tissue resulting in impaired memory, thinking and behavior. •No known cause or cure.
  14. 14. CHANGES IN THE BRAIN •Loss of brain cells. •Shrinking of brain size •”Plaques” and “Tangles” develop in nerve cells of the brain. •Nerve fibers separate and become tangled •Abnormal protein deposits •Production of chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) is reduced •Cells eventually die.
  15. 15. FRONTAL LOBE •Personality •Reasoning/judgment •Movement •Speech •Concentration/attention span •Alertness •safety
  16. 16. PARIETAL-LOBE •Sensory-perceptual areas •Senses (temperature, touch, pain, space) •Language (Letters-words-thoughts)
  17. 17. OCCIPITAL LOBE •Vision •Interprets information from eyes for orientation, position, movement
  18. 18. TEMPORAL LOBE •Hearing, memory, language •Organizes basic sounds of language into meaningful communication‟ •Ability to draw
  19. 19. HIPPOCAMPUS •Memory and learning („tape recorder) •Process short-term memory •Puts new memories into storage
  20. 20. ALZHEIMER’S SYMPTOMS •Early: May lose track of time •Later, more pronounced disorientation may include places and people •Sense of time becomes distorted (tries to leave upon arrival, forgets eating) •Mood and personality changes •Depression is common
  21. 21. WHAT’S HAPPENING TO MOM •Has difficulty finding the right words to express self •May try to cover with long-winded descriptions that don‟t make sense •May become angry and turn the focus on someone or something else or refuse to discuss. •May use words that sound similar or are related to desired word (wrong/ring or read/book)
  22. 22. THE DIAGNOSIS OF DEMENTIA ●Currently, there is no diagnostic test that can detect if a person has a Alzheimer‟s disease. However, new diagnostic tools and criteria make it possible for physicians to make clinical diagnosis of an Alzheimer‟s with an accuracy of 85-90%. ●Evaluations commonly performed during diagnosis include:
  23. 23. DIAGNOSIS OF DEMENTIA ●Medical History ●Mental Status Examination ●Physical Examination ●Neurological Examination ●Laboratory Tests
  24. 24. TREATMENT OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE ●There is no cure for Alzheimer‟s disease ●Maintaining good general health is important, because other conditions can make the symptoms of the disease worse. ●Medications ●Aricept ●Exelon ●Razadyne ●Namenda

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