How to Assess the Patient
A key aspect of diagnostic assessment relies on reporting about symptoms. Diagnosis of Alzheimer depends on the examinations the physician runs to assess thinking skills and memory. Imaging and lab trials are used to assist the doctor in determining the illness triggering dementia and discount other probable causes. A diagnostic test would include a neurological and physical exam to assess functional and behavioral modifications incoordination, reflexes and balance (Chaves et al., 2011). On the other hand, imaging is used primarily to detect visible anomalies relating to secondary conditions other than Alzheimer that may cause cognitive variations.
Alzheimer is a medically heterogeneous disorder and warrants use of standard diagnostic examinations to ascertain it. Diagnosis may be complicated by other disorders that have similar symptoms to Alzheimer including Lewy Body dementia which is characterized by misperception, poor judgment and memory deficiency. Besides, there is frontotemporal dementia which is exhibited by a gradual failure in language and behavior with memory being moderately preserved. Lastly, there is vascular dementia which is categorized by cognitive loss of two or more spheres including responsiveness, coordination and motor control.
Initial Treatment Plan
While there are no confirmed therapies to prevent Alzheimer, acid supplementation, hypertension management and physical activity exhibit modest prospects. First line prescriptions comprise acetylcholinesterase inhibitors which are linked with mild improvements in cognitive functioning, daily activities and behavior. Moreover, memantine can be used tobolster cognition and behavior of patient with mild to acute Alzheimer. While memantine has been observed to slow advancement of Alzheimer no pharmacological catalysts can repeal the progression. A combination remedy of memantine and acetylcholinesterase inhibitor is vital for patients with mild Alzheimer and is known to boosts cognitive ability (Cummings et al., 2015). Furthermore, atypical antipsychotics can be used to bolster particular behavioral symptoms, but should be administered with caution.
Chaves, M. L., Godinho, C. C., Porto, C. S., Mansur, L., Carthery-Goulart, M. T., Yassuda, M. S., & Beato, R. (2011). Cognitive, functional and behavioral assessment: Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia & Neuropsychologia.
Cummings, J. L., Isaacson, R. S., Schmitt, F. A., & Velting, D. M. (2015). A practical algorithm for managing Alzheimer’s disease: what, when, and why?. Annals of clinical and translational neurology, 2(3), 307-323.