Alzheimer’s Disease Nursing Diagnosis Essay.

 

According to 2020 research, up to 5.8 million Americans were living with Alzheimer’s disease. This figure is expected to nearly quadruple to 14 million by 2060. Though less prevalent, younger individuals are still at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. However, the number of patients with this condition increases every 5 years beyond the age of 65. Alzheimer’s disease symptoms and indications can occur as early as age 60, and the risk increases with age.  Although these signs and symptoms may occur it doesn’t signify the patient has Alzheimer’s disease. The patient should be taken to the hospital so that an Alzheimer’s disease nursing diagnosis is done to rule out other diseases with similar symptoms.

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What exactly is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. It is a progressive disorder that begins with little memory loss and progresses to loss of ability to talk and respond to the environment.
Alzheimer’s disease damages the brain areas responsible for cognition, memory, and language. Alzheimer’s disease has a substantial influence on a person’s ability to carry out daily responsibilities, in addition to making it difficult for the affected patient to communicate appropriately.
Although scientists do not completely understand what causes Alzheimer’s disease, the damage to the brain appears to begin a decade or more before memory.

Changes in an Alzheimer’s Patient’s Brain

A healthy human brain has tens of billions of neurons, which are specialized cells that process and send information via electrical and chemical impulses. These neurons are in charge of conveying signals across the brain and from the brain to muscles and other organs. Communication between these neurons is disturbed in Alzheimer’s disease patients, resulting in loss of function and cell death.

The brain’s major biological activities.

Neurons are made up of three main components:
1. A cell body – contains the cell nucleus, which is composed of the genetic blueprint that controls and regulates the cell’s activities.
2. Multiple dendrites – A network-like structure that extends from the cell body and collects information from neighboring neurons is referred to as a dendrite.
3. An axon is a cable-like structure at the end of dendrites that transmits messages to other neurons.

The following are the essential biological mechanisms that ensure neuronal function and survival:
• Communication;

• Metabolism; and

• Repair, remodeling, and regeneration

 

Communication.

Neurons are in constant touch with other brain cells. When one neuron gets a signal from another, an electrical charge is created that travels down its axon and releases neurotransmitter molecules across a tiny gap known as a synapse. Each neurotransmitter molecule then binds to specific receptor sites on a dendrite of an adjacent neuron, similar to how a key fits into a lock. This process creates chemical or electrical signals, which can either stimulate or inhibit activity in the cell receiving the signal. Communication occurs often among networks of brain cells. According to specialists, one neuron in the brain’s communication network may have up to 7,000 synaptic connections with other neurons.

Metabolism.

The breakdown of chemicals and nutrients within a cell is critical for cell function and survival. Metabolism is the name given to this process. To undertake this activity, cells require energy in the form of oxygen and glucose, which is provided by blood flowing through the brain. The brain has the most plentiful blood supply of any organ and consumes up to 20% of the total energy required by the human body—more than any other organ.

Repair, remodeling, and regeneration.

Repair, remodeling, and regeneration are all terms used to describe the processes of repairing, remodeling, and regeneration of neurons.
Neurons, unlike many other cells in the body, have developed to live for an extended period of time—more than 100 years in humans. As a result, neurons must constantly maintain and repair themselves. Thus, neurons continually “remodel” their synaptic connections in response to the amount of stimulation they receive from neighboring neurons. They may, for example, strengthen or weaken synaptic connections, or even break down connections with one group of neurons while forming new ones with another. Neurogenesis is the process through which adult brains generate new neurons. Neurogenesis and synaptic connection remodeling are essential for learning, memory, and even brain repair.

Memory Changes in an Alzheimer’s Patient

Many people are terrified of having Alzheimer’s disease as soon as they become forgetful. Memory issues, on the other hand, can be caused by a variety of different circumstances, including:

• Aging.

• Other medical issues.

• Emotional issues

• Moderate cognitive impairment.

• other forms of dementia

Differences between normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease.

There are some distinctions between normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease:

• Normal aging may be defined by making a terrible decision every now and then, however, Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by making poor judgments and decisions all of the time.

• Normal aging might cause someone to forget which term to use, however, Alzheimer’s disease can make it difficult to converse.

• A person with normal aging misplaces items from time to time, but a person with Alzheimer’s disease frequently misplaces items and is unable to locate them.

Medical conditions that may cause memory problems.

The following are some of the medical conditions that may cause memory problems:

  • Tumors, blood clots, or infections in the brain
  • Some thyroid, kidney, or liver disorders
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Head injuries, such as a concussion from a fall or accident
  • Medication side effects.
  • Not eating enough healthy foods, or too few vitamins and minerals in a person’s body (like vitamin B12)

In the case of memory problems caused by emotional problems, the following might be the possible causes:

  • Depression.
  • Anxiety, and
  • Stress

Alzheimer's Disease Nursing Diagnosis

Alzheimer’s Disease Signs & Symptoms at Each Stage of Progression

Though the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease vary from person to person, memory problems are typically one of the first markers of cognitive deterioration linked with Alzheimer’s disease. Non-memory cognitive components such as word searching, vision/spatial issues, and poor reasoning or judgment may also signal Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages. Furthermore, some people may be diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, people have increasing memory loss and other cognitive problems. In summary, when Alzheimer’s disease advances, there are several indications and symptoms.

Alzheimer’s disease goes through four phases, which are as follows:

  1. Preclinical stage.
  2. Mild (also known as early-stage),
  3. Moderate and
  4. Severe (also known as late-stage)

Stage of mild (also known as early-stage)

In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, the patient appears to be having difficulty making sense of his surroundings.
Some of the signs of mild Alzheimer’s disease are as follows:

• Memory loss.

• Bad decision-making results in bad judgment.

• a lack of initiative and spontaneity

• Routine daily tasks are taking longer to complete.

• Question reiteration

• Having trouble managing your money and paying your expenses

• Wandering and disorientation

• Misplacing or losing objects in strange places

• Mood and personality shifts

• There has been an increase in anxiety and/or aggressiveness.

The stage is moderate.

Alzheimer’s disease has already been identified at this point, and caring for the patient becomes increasingly challenging for the nurse or family members.

Some of the signs of mild Alzheimer’s disease are as follows:
• Reduced attention span

• Problems coping in new situations
• Difficulty performing multi-step tasks such as dressing
• Difficulty discriminating between family and friends

• Delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia have intensified

• Memory loss and confusion have worsened
• inability to learn new things

• inappropriate anger outbursts

• restlessness, anxiety, concern, tearfulness, and wandering, especially in the late afternoon or evening
• Repetitive statements or gestures, as well as occasional muscle twitches

• Language challenges, as well as difficulties, reading, writing, and working with numbers

• Difficulties organizing thoughts and reasoning rationally

All of these signs help to rule out whether it is Alzheimer’s disease when performing an Alzheimer’s disease nursing diagnosis. This is because Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed at this stage.

 

Severe (sometimes called late-stage).

Severe Alzheimer’s disease impairs a person’s capacity to communicate and renders them fully reliant on others. Because the body shuts down in the late stages of severe Alzheimer’s disease, the patient is mostly bed-ridden.

The signs of severe Alzheimer’s disease are as follows:
• Difficulties initiating discussions. (Difficulty communicating.)
• Weight loss

• Loss of bowel and bladder control

• Seizures

• Skin infections

• Difficulty swallowing

• Groaning, moaning, or grunting

Alzheimer’s Disease Nursing Diagnosis

Although there is no one test that can be used to identify Alzheimer’s disease, professionals can rule out other similar conditions and perform Alzheimer’s disease nursing diagnosis with around 95% accuracy.
Examining and analyzing the dementia patient is crucial in determining if the dementia is the result of a treatable condition.

The following diagnostic methods are used in performing an Alzheimer’s disease nursing diagnosis:

 

• Comprehensive medical history and neurological, motor, and sensory exams.

The following tests are performed during a physical examination:
1) Determine your heart rate
2) Take your blood pressure.
3) Check your temperature
4) In rare circumstances, request urine or blood testing

 

• Psychological assessment.

This is a brief and simple test of memory and a few other typical cognitive or thinking abilities; it is frequently done as part of a thorough neurological assessment.
A psychological examination is used to determine the following characteristics about the patient:
a) Immediate memory.
b) Spatial and temporal orientation
d) Long-term memory
A psychological assessment of Alzheimer’s disease nursing diagnosis entails asking questions such as:

1) What day is it?
2) Who is the president?
3) What is your given name? How old are you, by the way?
4) Were you asked to memorize a list of words?

• Neuropsychological tests

• Blood tests are performed.

• Lumbar puncture (spinal tap).

A method that involves inserting a hollow needle into the lower back (lumbar spine)

• Urinalysis.

In a laboratory, urine is examined for a variety of cells and chemicals such as red blood cells, white blood cells, infection, and excess protein.
• An X-ray of the chest A diagnostic technology that uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to make film images of inner tissues, bones, and organs.

• EEG (Electroencephalogram) (EEG).

A technique that captures the brain’s continuous electrical activity using electrodes put on the scalp.

 

• CT (computed tomography) scan (also called a CT or CAT scan).

A diagnostic imaging procedure that uses X-rays and computer technology to create horizontal, or axial, images (also known as slices) of the body. A CT scan offers detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than ordinary X-rays.

• MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) (MRI).

A diagnostic procedure that uses huge magnets, radiofrequency, and a computer to create detailed images of organs and structures within the body.

• Genetic testing.

Some genetic testing is available, particularly in certain research circumstances.

 

Alzheimer’s Disease Treatment and Prevention

Alzheimer’s disease presently has no cure. The disease progresses as nerve cells in the brain are damaged and no longer function properly, and there is no way to reverse this degeneration.
Physical activity and social interaction, as well as a healthy diet, health care, and a calm and well-structured environment, are essential in the management of Alzheimer’s disease. In certain circumstances, medications might help with cognitive and behavioral difficulties.

Your doctor will choose the optimal Alzheimer’s disease therapy based on the following factors:
• Your age, general health, and medical history are all crucial factors to consider.
• The severity of the disease

• Your capacity to tolerate specific treatments, procedures, or therapies

• Your expectations for the disease’s course

• Your point of view or preference

In brief, there is no treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, no way to slow its progression, and no drug available to repair the cell degradation produced by Alzheimer’s disease. New scientific findings give a reason for optimism, and numerous drugs are being explored in human studies to determine whether they can slow the growth of the disease or temporarily improve memory.

 

 General Outline of your Alzheimer’s Disease Nursing Diagnosis Essay.

A nursing essay is divided into four sections. The overall format of all nursing essays is as follows:

1) A succinct and clear title.

 

The title should be brief and clear. It should be a synopsis of what you intend to convey in your nursing essay. A decent title should be at least 6 words long.

2) A captivating opening

Most readers will begin by reading the introduction and conclusion to gain a sense of what your nursing essay is about. As a result, you should make sure to compose a short, engaging beginning. Most essential, your introduction should establish your thesis statement for your nursing essay.

3) The body paragraphs. (Usually three body paragraphs)

Provide strong supporting evidence for your thesis statement in the body of your nursing essay. Furthermore, your proof should be well-researched. As a result, nursing students must first sketch or scribble down concepts that they have explored inappropriate source materials such as books and journals. Use proper language and writing style in your body paragraphs, as directed by your instructor. Most essential, make sure your paragraphs are well-organized.

4) A compelling conclusion.

Because most readers begin with the opening and the conclusion, producing a strong finish is just as crucial as writing a compelling introduction. You should write a quick conclusion that summarizes your nursing essay in short, straightforward phrases. In the conclusion section, you may opt to reiterate your thesis statement. Most essential, make sure to compose an intriguing ending.

# Bonus Tip:

Once you’ve completed the final draft of your Alzheimer’s disease nursing essay, proofread it and edit/correct any grammatical or reference issues. Additionally, ensure that you have used the required nursing essay format when writing your nursing essay e.g  apa style nursing essay format. Most essential, you should run your nursing essay through a plagiarism checker to guarantee that your nursing paper is unique.

Conclusion.

To summarize, Alzheimer’s disease is the most prevalent type of dementia. Women account for around two-thirds of the country’s 5 million Alzheimer’s sufferers. Alzheimer’s disease nursing diagnosis is done by ruling out other conditions with comparable symptoms, resulting in a 95% accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s, unlike other varieties of dementia, does not impair patients’ motor function until the illness is advanced.

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