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Alzheimer's Disease Interventions

Old-timer
Picmonic
Dementia is a progressive deterioration of cognitive functioning and global impairment of the intellect. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is one of the most common forms of dementia characterized by neuronal degeneration and brain cell death. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease and the interventions are aimed to decrease the progression and severity of symptoms.
8 KEY FACTS
DIAGNOSTIC TESTS
PET scan and CT
PET Scanner and Cat Scanner

There is no definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease while the patient is living; however, brain atrophy is often present in computed tomography (CT scans) and positron emission tomography (PET) scan. It is important to remember that brain atrophy is present in most types of dementia.

Mini-Mental State Examination
Mental State Exam

The MMSE is a series of 30 questions that acts as a screening tool for the current mental state of the patient. Less than 9 points indicates severe impairment; 10-18 points moderate impairment; 18-24 mild impairment; 25-30 points is indicative of normal cognitive function.

INTERVENTIONS
Drug Therapy
Med-bottle

Drug therapy for this disorder includes medications that manage symptoms, as there is no cure. Medications such as donepezil (Aricept) and memantine (Namenda) decrease the progression of the disease. Antidepressants and antianxiety medications are indicated as many patients become depressed and anxious as they lose their independence.

Safe Environment
Safe-house

Encourage a safe environment for these patients based on the stage of their disease. Provide consistent routines and frequent reorientation to minimize confusion.

Moderate Exercise
Moderate Treadmill

Moderate exercise is helpful for individuals as it increases personal health and improves muscle tone.

Behavioral Modification
Behavioral-mask Modified

These patients are often confused and disoriented, especially in later stages of the disease. Providing simple, easy-to-follow daily routines and reinforcing reality orientation are important.

Assistance with Functional Independence
Assisting with Independance-day clothing

Care is aimed to maintain the patient’s independence and ability to complete activities of daily living. Maintaining independence increases self-esteem and promotes overall health preventing depression.

Assistance and Support for Caregiver
Support-group for Caregiver

Caregivers are often overwhelmed in the care of a patient with severe dementia. Providing a consistent caregiver decreases confusion and anxiety in confused patients. Discuss problems that may arise during the care of these patients including night wandering, aggressiveness and a possible inability to recognize family members.

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