Alzheimer’s Disease Walden University NURS-6501-12Erika StewartApril 28, 2019
What is Alzheimer’s Disease ? –Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly impairs memory and thinking skills, and eventually the ability to carry out simple tasks. –The exact cause of AD is unknown–In most people with Alzheimer’s, symptoms first appear in their mid-60s. Estimates vary, but experts suggest that more than 5.5 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s–(National Institute on Aging N.D.).
Pathophysiology –Accumulation of extracellular neuritic plaques containing a core of amyloid beta protein, intraneuronal neurofibrillary tangles and degermation of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons with loss of acetylcholine.–Toxic fragments of amyloid beta proteins accumulates leading to formation of neuritic plaques that disrupts nerve impulse, transmission and death of neurons–The loss of neurons contributes to brain atrophy with widening of sulci and shrinkage of gyri. –Loss of synapses, acetylcholine and other neurotransmitters causes memory, attention and other cognitive functions to decline–(Heuther and McCance, 2017).
Clinical ManifestationsStage 1:Wandering , getting lost, trouble handling money and paying bills, repeating questions, taking longer to complete normal daily tasks, and personality and behavior changes.Stage 2: Memory loss, confusion worsens, confusion grow worse, unable to recognize familiar people, unable to learn new things, difficulty with tasks such as getting dressed. IN addition, people at this stage may have hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia and may behave impulsively.