Characteristics Of Dementia

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The lay people associate Dementia with memory loss, but it’s just not that simple. Dementia is a gradual disease with many other characteristics, such as, loss of attention, orientation, language, judgement, and reasoning (Lewis, Dirksen, Heitkemper, Bucher, & Harding ). “Personality changes and behavioral problems such as agitation, delusions, and hallucinations may occur” (Lewis, Dirksen, Heitkemper, Bucher, & Harding). All of the issues that come with Dementia affect the entire person’s quality of life. The person can no longer fulfill work obligations, can no longer function in a social aspect, and ultimately can no longer perform activities of daily living (ADLs).
There are several conditions that can lead to the onset and development
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Manifectsions include masklike facial expression, no communicaiton, apathy, withdrawal, eventual immobility, assumed fetal position, no appetite, and emaciation.
During a neurological examination, the manifestations may include deep tendon reflexes and the presence of snout, root, and grasp reflexes (appear in Stage 3). Stage 4 neurological manifestations may include seixure activity and immobility. Appearance may change tremendously between the stages. In the earlier stages there may be a normal interest in hygiene, while in later stages intertest in hygiene may be completely lacking. Changes in behavior may also present, such as, abusive lanuage, inappropriate sexual behavior and paranoria may all contribute to behvior changes.
Psychosocial assessments are very important when the diagnosis of Dementia has been confirmed. These types of assessments include assessing the family for their ability to cope, their ability to provide physical and emotional care, and their ability to meet financial responsibilities. Also, a multidisciplinary team assessment approach is recommended for the patient, as well as, the
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The goal of the medication is to temporarily lessen some of the Dementia manifestations, enhance cognition (Unbound Nursing: Nursing Central. 2016).
Memantine binds to CNS N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor sites, preventing binding of glutamate. The goal of the medication is to decrease symptoms of Dementia decline, cognitive enhancement, but does not slow the progression of the disease (Unbound Nursing: Nursing Central. 2016).
Tacrine increase levels of acetylcholine in the CNS by inhibiting its breakdown. The over all goal of this medication is to improve cognitive function in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. It should be noted that there is no cure for Dementia or any form of Dementia, but there are medications that will slow the progression of the disease and prolong a person’s life. “Alternative therapies that may improve symptoms include vitamin E, ginko, and Huperzine A, but the research evidence is mixed regarding the efficacy of these therapues” (Lachel Story,

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