Alzheimer's Disease Howenstine J A 2010 Research Paper

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A. Harvard Women's Health Watch (2010) Preserving and improving memory as we age. Feb 1: NA

B. This is an article that is written directly to consumers who are over the age of 50 and are starting to notice changes in the ability to remember things. It addresses the fact that this wrongly causes fear in some people that they are prone toward Alzheimer's disease. Studies have shown that cognitive decline and the risk of dementia can be maintained with general health habits, such as staying physically active, getting enough sleep, not smoking, having good social connections, limiting alcohol to one drink a day, and eating a balanced diet low in saturated and trans fats. The article provides a number of different ways that people can improve their cognitive abilities, such as blocking: When someone is asked a question and the cannot immediately respond -- the answer is on the tip of his/her tongue -- this is the most familiar example of blocking, the temporary inability to retrieve a memory. Blocking does not occur because someone is not paying attention or because the memory has faded from the brain. In most cases, it is blocked by another, similar memory. For example, parents call their older son by their younger son's name. Memory blocks become more common with age and account for much of the trouble older people have in remembering names. The good news is that about half of the blocked memories can be retrieved within a minute.

C. This is an article that would be of interest to the general public, especially those who are over 50 or who have a family member who is this age. It would be helpful for healthcare providers to keep on hand for their patients.

D. Harvard Women's Health Watch is a monthly newsletter to keep women informed about the health issues.

A. Bruce, L.A. (2010) Drugs for Alzheimer's Disease. MedSurg Nursing 19(1): 51-54

B. Drug therapy for Alzheimer's disease is presently focused on slowing the progression of the disease and managing the symptoms of the cognitive decline. In this report, Bruce covers the two classes of drugs currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of the disease: the cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEls) and the single N-methyl-D-aspatate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, the drug memantine. The concern by the author is that patients with dementia may not be able to adhere to treatment plans and report adverse effects. This can create a burden on caregivers, because approximately 70% of persons with Alzheimer's disease live at home with a caregiver who is a family member or friend. Of patients still living in a home setting, 73% currently require assistance with managing and taking their medications.

Ongoing research in the pharmacologic treatment of Alzheimer's disease centers on drug delivery systems can improve adherence and minimize adverse effects. In addition, the nurse's role in drug therapy this illness is an important element. Drug efficacy is improved when the drug is taken on a regular and consistent basis. Treatment adherence and reporting of adverse effects can have a positive impact on the patient's condition as well as the quality of life. Teaching the purpose of drug therapy, helping the patient and caregiver choose the easiest drug delivery system for the individual, investigating possible drug-to-drug interactions, and managing adverse effects can relieve some of the burden of the disease's management.

C. The information in this report would be helpful for family members and caregivers. However, presently it is not written in layman's terms, but rather for healthcare providers. This population is important, as well, but an additional report should be written for the general public.

D. This is a peer-reviewed article in a reputable publication.

A. Mayo Clinic. "Alzheimer's Disease" Retrieved April 27, 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/alzheimers-disease/DS00161

B. It is important for the general public as well as healthcare providers to know that there is a wealth of information that is available online about Alzheimer's disease as well as other illnesses. Of course, some sites are more reputable and have better information than others. The Mayo Clinic normally has excellent information on different medical topics, and the subject of Alzheimer's disease is no different. The web site provides a thorough coverage of the disease form symptoms to treatment, recent news and research studies of interest, a newsletter for caregivers and a slide show on how the brain functions. It also covers the differences between dementia and Alzheimer's disease, which is important information for all people to have. Most people confuse Alzheimer's disease with other dementia concerns.

C. Information on this site is of interest for anyone who wants a general background on Alzheimer's disease, as well as those afflicted with the illness and their caregivers and family members. It also provides a foundation for anyone in the healthcare field, although not going into much depth or technical information.

D. The Mayo Clinic is a well-known healthcare organization.

References

Ajamian, P.C. (2010) Keep Alzheimer's in mind; if optometrists could identify early Alzheimer's disease in just 1% of their patients, 500,000 people could be helped. Review of Optometry 147(2): 105-107

Bruce, L.A. (2010) Drugs for Alzheimer's Disease. MedSurg Nursing 19(1): 51-54

Doody, R.S., Paylik, V., Massman, P. et al. Predicting progression of Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's Research & Therapy 2:2

Harvard Women's Health Watch (2010) Preserving and improving memory as we age. Feb 1: NA

Howenstine, J.A. (2010) How to heal Alzheimer's disease. Townsend Letter 321: 78-85

Hunt, L.A., Brown,…[continue]

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