WK10AssgnMcdowellP.pptx - ALZHEIMERS DISEASE Walden University NURS 6501N-42 Paula McDowell May 3,2017 Alzheimers Disease(AD Alzheimers disease is a

WK10AssgnMcdowellP.pptx - ALZHEIMERS DISEASE Walden...

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ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE Walden University NURS 6501N-42 Paula McDowell May 3,2017
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Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain (Alzheimer’s Foundation of America [AFA], 2016). It is the leading cause of cognitive dysfunction in older adults (Huether & McCance, 2017). Alzheimer’s starts out with difficulty learning and recent memory loss. It occurs over a 5-10 year period. Development of anomia, aphasia, acalculia, spatial disorientation, and apraxias. Development of paranoia, delusions, and hallucination arise in the later stages of AD. Terminal patients are usually bedridden, unable to communicate, and incontinent (McPhee & Hammer, 2014).
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PATHOPHYSIOLOGY The cause of Alzheimer’s is not known at the present (Huether & McCance, 2017). Alzheimer’s is a slowly progressing disease that occurs over several years. Changes within the brain occur long before the first sign of memory loss. Microscopic changes in the brain affect nerve cell communication (Alzheimer’s Association, 2016).
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Pathophysiology Alterations in the brain lead to a buildup of neuritic plaques that contain amyloid beta protein, development of neurofibrillary tangles, and degeneration of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons resulting in loss of acetylcholine (Huether & McCance, 2017).
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