Symptoms And Treatment Of A Mental Therapist Assistant Student Essay

Symptoms And Treatment Of A Mental Therapist Assistant Student Essay

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As a physical therapist assistant student, I have learned about numerous disorders and diseases, many of them can cause great pain and suffering for those afflicted with them. However, one disease stands out as particularly terrifying to me, which is Alzheimer’s disease. This malady is frightening because it affects the brain, which controls all thoughts, movement and bodily functions. It affects cognition, to include; understanding, intellect, language, memory, visuospatial skills and overall personality. In my opinion, these are the things that define who we are, not our physical body. I am genuinely frightened at the possibility of becoming a “shell” of a person, as those with Alzheimer’s are often described to be. Furthermore, because this disease is seemingly much more pervasive than it once was, I’d like to know if I am at risk. Therefore, in an effort to gain a better understanding of this disease, I examined the etiology; pathology and physiology; signs and symptoms; statistics; diagnostic tests; and the medical treatments available for Alzheimer’s disease, along with effective physical therapy interventions. My hope is that with more knowledge this horrendous disease will not seem so worrisome to me.
Alzheimer’s is a disease that affects a patient’s brain and gradually erodes memory, intellectual ability, and personality. Moreover, because the brain controls all movement and bodily functions, as the disease progresses, Alzheimer’s patients need help in all areas of life (Kelly, p.8, 10). Mild changes in memory and cognitive ability are normally occurring during the aging process and may be confused with the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Advanced Alzheimer’s disease will limit an individual’s ability to speak, think, or per...


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...ion (6, p.65). There has been some research that suggests Alzheimer’s is a metabolic disease with virtually all of the same features of diabetes mellitus, but largely confined to the brain (4, p.11). Some researchers have gone so far as to dub Alzheimer’s “Type III diabetes”. They point to a growing body of evidence that indicates an inability of the brain to use glucose (4, p.11). Other researchers are looking at the possibility that it is an insulin deficiency that leads to Alzheimer’s disease. However, conflicting research points to an excess of insulin in the brain (8, p.961). Further testing will more clearly explain the relationship between insulin in the brain and Alzheimer’s disease.
Currently there are five FDA approved drugs for use with Alzheimer’s patients. These drugs do not treat the underlying cause of Alzheimer’s but rather treat the symptoms only and

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