Mrs G is a 50 year old female, who has presented to the clinic with extensive memory loss that has been gradually worsening over the last six months. In particular, this patient reports that they constantly experience black outs and often forgets minor, routine details that they would normally have no issues with remembering or incorporating into their everyday activities. Their history of memory loss had only been short lived with no indications that they had sustained long term memory loss however there were indications to suggest that they could in the future and this was concerning to local physicians (University of Missouri, 2015). Furthermore, Mrs G did not report any other peculiar symptoms or a history of other major conditions or diseases that could have caused such symptoms.
Reported symptoms by the patient include short bouts of unconsciousness and black outs, short term memory loss, shakes and shivers on an occasional basis and the inability at times, to comprehend normal data and problems, that would previously be easy to overcome and understand. She also struggled to walk and move particular limbs of the body at certain times of the day, generally in the late afternoon and evening when she would report having extensive fatigue and lower levels of energy (Soukup, 1996). There were no other symptoms reported by the patient and the patient had also not incurred any injuries that could have been the cause of these black outs and short term memory loss.
Physical findings of Mrs G that are consistent with the known disease (Alzheimer’s Disease) include the inability to move limbs at certain times of the day and an inability to comprehend more complicated or difficult concepts, that should normally be understood by the particular individual (Willett, 2002). This is consistent with the known disease as it affects extensive numbers of brain cells, some which are responsible for deeper motor skills such as the ability to move limbs and to remember certain details. Since the disease gradually spreads throughout the brain, the symptoms of the disease become more widespread and essentially intensified (Willett, 2002). For example, this patient’s symptoms of memory loss and a general inability to move limbs at certain periods of the day is characteristic of the detrimental nature of the disease and its ability to intensify as less brain cells survive and more are depleted by the particular disease.
There are a number of diagnostic tools that can be used to effectively diagnose the patient with Alzheimer’s disease. The majority of these tools are physical and cognitive in nature and do not require the patient to be blood tested or have their vital signs tested in general. The first diagnostic tool involves a comprehensive cognitive test that allows the doctor to assess the cognitive ability of the patient (Bradbury & Bodney, 2007). This can include a number of questions that test the numerical and literacy skills of the individual. Furthermore, brain responsiveness and memory skills can also be tested using a number of other theoretical and practical tests. For example, the use of known place cards can allow the patient to attempt to memorize throughout a short period of time and this can further assess the level of memory loss within the patient. There are no known lab and x-ray tests that can be extensively used to assess and diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease (Bradbury & Bodney, 2007).
Other possible diagnoses that could potentially be ruled out include firstly, short term memory loss that can be associated with the respective lifestyle of the patient. Short term memory loss can be temporarily managed and also cured with significant changes to the lifestyle and routines of the patient (Willett, 2002). The second possible diagnosis that could be ruled out is a stroke and the potential for future strokes. This was ruled out as blood pressure tests provided normal results for the individual and no indications that their heart was weakening or that they felt faint. The final potential diagnosis is brain cancer or associated brain disease. However X-Rays proved that there were no abnormalities within the brain and no tumors or any cell growth that would indicate the potential for disease growth or development (Willett, 2002).
Two treatment options for the disease include firstly, a number of different vitamins that could be taken on a daily basis and which contain fish oil and a number of other substances. Fish oil promotes brain cell growth and sustainment and could provide a necessary amount of protein to stop the disease and allow medical professionals to effectively control it. Furthermore, another treatment could include improved exercise regimes and diets that allow the brain to maintain daily healthy levels rather than being subjected to more harmful substances such as alcohol and without sufficient blood circulation (as inspired through daily exercise) (University of Missouri, 2015).
The short term prognosis for the disease includes short term memory loss and some abnormalities associated with limb movement and some other fine motor skills. The long term prognosis is more harmful and includes extensive memory loss, more frequent blackouts and prolonged unconsciousness, loss of awareness and all cognitive skills and the requirement for intensive nursing care (Soukup, 1996). Eventually, the individual has no awareness of their surroundings or understanding of their loved ones and friends. They lose all control of their bodily movements and processes and can also be open to other secondary diseases, which the body is subsequently unable to overcome.
The disease relates to the age of Mrs G as it generally develops in middle-aged and older patients who have less effective immune systems and who are more prone to disease and particular conditions. The symptoms are also reminiscent of a patient in their middle ages as with natural aging processes, the brain starts to lose more brain cells and this can result in some memory loss, but not as extensive as this patient.
- Bradbury, R, Brodney, M. (2007). Alzheimer’s Disease. Springer Science & Media, Retrieved from https://books.google.com.au/books?id=D0RFVaReemcC Accessed on 12th December 2015.
- Soukup, J. (1996). Alzheimer’s Disease: A Guide to Diagnosis, Treatment, and Management. Greenwood Publishing Group, Retrieved from https://books.google.com.au/books/about/Alzheimer_s_Disease.html?id=hKmz4v5E1pcC&redir_esc=y Accessed on 12th December 2015.
- University of Missouri. (2015). Virtual Health Care Team. School of Health Professions, Retrieved from http://shp.missouri.edu/vhct/case1299/patient_presents.htm Accessed on 12th December 2015.
- Willett, E. (2002). Alzheimer’s Disease. Enslow Publishers, Retrieved from https://books.google.com.au/books/about/Alzheimer_s_Disease.html?id=sPz7GRE0PFQC&redir_esc=y Accessed on 12th December 2015.