Symptoms And Treatments Of Dementia

964 Words 4 Pages
The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s or [AD]. This is where the brain gradual deteriorates. Although is more common in people age 65 and older, it is not a normal part of aging. People in their 40s or 50s that get AD is also known as younger-onset. Family history or genetics also play a role in this disease. Symptoms such as memory loss and confusion worsen overtime. There are three stages of AD. The first stage is mild or early-stage, the second is moderate or middle-stage, and the last stage is severe or late-stage. Even though there is no single test that can tell if a person has AD, there are some medical evaluations that can diagnose it. People that are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s do have some treatment options for the symptoms. …show more content…
A single test will not say one has AD or not, a physician can evaluate a person and determine if they do or not. The physician will do a thorough medical history, metal status testing, a physical and neurological exam, and test such as blood, and brain imaging. The blood tests and brain imaging is to rule out any other diseases that presents itself like AD. Going through one’s medical history will show all current and past illnesses. It also shows what close family members suffer from and can help determine if they had AD or related dementias. The physical exam will include: questions about diet, review of medications check on blood pressure, temperature, and pulse, listening to heart and lungs, collection of blood or urine for lab test, and overall health assessments. Genetic testing is done to see of the person has the gene APOE-e4 which is the strongest gene for AD. Having this gene only means the person has more of a chance of getting AD not that they will for sure, but physicians don’t think people should get genetic test for AD done regularly. This is usually only done for research studies. Neurological exams are done to test reflexes, coordination eye movement, speech, and sensation. Brain imaging such as MRI or CT scans can rule out conditions that present like AD, but require different treatment (alzheimer’s …show more content…
There are medications for the early stages of AD are called Cholinesterase inhibitors, which are to help with memory, thinking, language, judgement, and other thought processes. These inhibitors prevent breakdown of acetylcholine, which is a chemical important for learning and memory. Also they delay the symptoms for an average of 6-12 months. Although, some side effects are nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and increase in bowel movement. The three that are most commonly prescribed are Donepezil (Aricept) for all stages, Rivastigmine (Exelon) for more mild to moderate stages, and Galantamine (Razadyne) also for mild to moderate stages. For the more severe stages, memantine (Namenda) is given. It is for improving memory, attention, reasoning, language, and to be able to perform simple task. It helps regulate activity of glutamate, also a chemical for learning and memory, temporarily delays worsening of symptoms. Side effects of this drug can be headaches, constipation, confusion, and dizziness. Medications for behavioral symptoms include: antidepressants, anxiolytics, and antipsychotic medications. Depending on the person’s specific needs (alzheimer’s

Related Documents