Alzheimer's Treatment in Geriatric Patients | Free Essay Example

Alzheimer’s Treatment in Geriatric Patients

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Topic: Health & Medicine
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Literature Review

The research conducted by Saragat et al. (2012) focused on the dependency between the variations in nutrition and several certain conditions related to the psycho-functional state of geriatric patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The analysis of this dependency was conducted via bioelectrical impedance vector analysis. The vital signs of the patients (including height, weight, BMI, and skinfold) were also evaluated (Saragat et al., 2012). The assessment of nutritional patterns was combined with the examination of the patients’ mental state. Saragat et al. (2012) paid close attention to the likelihood of depression in geriatric patients with Alzheimer’s and reviewed the activities performed by the patients daily. The author of the article found that the variations in body composition are connected to the decline of the psycho-functional state of patients with Alzheimer’s. The research emphasizes the differences in the levels of cognitive decline and its relation to bioelectrical impedance vector analysis. Saragat et al. (2012) claim that this approach is useful for monitoring the overall status and nutritional patterns of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Pedroso et al. (2012) were interested in investigating the executive functions of geriatric patients with Alzheimer’s disease and their susceptibility to falls. The key objective of their research was to evaluate the impact of a custom activity program on the executive functions of elderly individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (Pedroso et al., 2012). The researchers divided their sample (N = 21) into two groups. One group consisted of 10 individuals who participated in the activity program (also called the training group). Another group consisted of 11 individuals, and they did not participate in any daily activity (also called the control group). The researchers evaluated the executive functions of geriatric patients using several standardized tools. Pedroso et al. (2012) developed a questionnaire and obtained important data concerning the falls characteristic of geriatric patients. The training group showed better results than the control group (including balance, executive functions, and the results of all the standardized tests). The researchers claimed that cognitive and motor functions and the overall status of geriatric patients with Alzheimer’s are dependent on regular physical exercise.

Nelson et al. (2012) emphasized the importance of the studies in the field of Alzheimer’s disease which concentrate on the clinicopathologic correlations. The neuropathologic changes triggered by Alzheimer’s disease correlate with the cognitive status of the patient and are dependent on data inconsistency (Nelson et al., 2012). The researchers consider the patients’ age to be one of the most significant aspects that increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease occurrence. They also evaluated the causes of cognitive damage in geriatric patients and interpreted the findings in some ways. Nelson et al. (2012) study the correlation between the cognitive impairment and neuropathologic variations identified in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The authors of the article dwell on the brain changes inherent in geriatric patients and are interested in understanding the described correlations that are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease (Nelson et al., 2012). They conclude that cognitive impairment plays a significant role in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and recommends exploring correlations further.

Lopez et al. (2013) were interested in exploring the effects of conservative and innovative approaches to the treatment of probable Alzheimer’s disease (mild and moderate). The time of admission to a nursing home was found to correlate with cognitive factors and demographic variables. It was also connected to several other diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, strokes, and heart disease (Lopez et al., 2013). The researchers adjusted the symptoms of these diseases to the psychiatric symptoms found in the patients. Lopez et al. (2013) could not associate any of the examined approaches to the time to death and nursing home admission. The researchers also emphasize the fact that antipsychotic medications were not found to affect time to death in geriatric patients with Alzheimer’s disease (Lopez et al., 2013). Quite on the contrary, they highlighted the presence of psychosis and some minor psychiatric symptoms that were connected to the risk of increased mortality due to the exposure to antipsychotic treatment.

Clegg, Young, Iliffe, Rikkert, and Rockwood (2013) argue that fragility is one of the most adverse representations of getting old. The researchers state that fragility (also referred to as frailty) is a response to homeostasis or an event that caused stress in the individual. As a consequence, this leads to a collective decay in several functional systems of the geriatric patients. Consequently, the homoeostatic reserves are affected by the decay and cause inconsistent variations in the patients’ health status (Clegg et al., 2013). The authors of the article identify some frailty models and discuss their effects based on several epidemiological investigations. They also argue that it is necessary to develop new strategies intended to help fight with frailty inherent in geriatric patients (Clegg et al., 2013). The key supporting argument of this supposition is the development of new treatment plans that would be elaborated together with certain invasive procedures. On a bigger scale, this would define the objectives of geriatric care and help the nurses to detect frailty and mitigate its adverse influence on the health outcomes.

In his 2012 research, Stern investigated the notion of cognitive reserve. He was able to explain the age-related changes in the brain and outline many critical pathologies that are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. Stern (2012) also mentioned that some individuals might tolerate the influence of the disease and some might not. The reserve of each individual can be divided into two different categories. The first reserve is the reserve of the brain because it is connected to the transformation of the brain structure. In perspective, this may intensify pathology tolerance. The second reserve is called cognitive, and it relates to the differences in the pliability to the brain changes and overall cognitive and brain performance (Stern, 2012). The author believes that cognitive reserve should be investigated further to decrease the likelihood of dementia and gain more insight into the concept of human reserves.

Methodology and Design of the Study

This study will feature a meta-analysis design. The researcher chooses this particular methodology for several reasons. First, meta-analysis will help the researcher to identify conflicting results. Second, the magnitude of the effects triggered by clinical interventions will be accurately measured. The researcher chooses meta-analysis to perform an intricate analysis of upsides and downsides of the interventions currently applied by the nurses working with geriatric patients. The study will be conducted in the form of a survey. Nurses will be asked to enumerate the interventions they believe might be helpful during the process of Alzheimer’s disease treatment in geriatric patients. The results of the interviews will be coded into groups, and the ultimate set of interventions will be generated based on the nurses’ answers. The survey will be conducted on a sheet of paper and contain several multiple-choice questions and several open questions. The nurses will not be allowed to work in groups as the researcher is interested in the personalization of Alzheimer’s treatment approaches. The obtained data will be collected and processed manually. The results will be analyzed for the presence of certain trends in Alzheimer’s disease clinical interventions.

Sampling Methodology

This study will feature a random sampling methodology. This methodology is intended to help the researcher to achieve accurate results. The sample will consist of the nurses that are currently taking care of geriatric Alzheimer’s patients and the nurses that performed the treatment of Alzheimer’s patients in the past. The number of nurses will not be more than 50 to minimize the likelihood of bias and other research errors. Personal, social, and any other characteristics of the participating nurses will not be taken into consideration. The nurses’ personal information will not be disclosed to comply with the principle of anonymity and ethical concerns of the research study.

Necessary Tools

There are several necessary tools. First, a custom-designed survey for the nurses. This survey will be designed to identify the tendencies in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and highlight the nurses’ perceptions of geriatric patients. Second, the researcher needs a facility to conduct the survey. All the nurses should be at the same place at the time of the survey.

References

Clegg, A., Young, J., Iliffe, S., Rikkert, M. O., & Rockwood, K. (2013). Frailty in elderly people. The Lancet, 381(9868), 752-762.

Lopez, O. L., Becker, J. T., Chang, Y., Sweet, R. A., Aizenstein, H., Snitz, B.,… Klunk, W. E. (2013). The long-term effects of conventional and atypical antipsychotics in patients with probable Alzheimer’s disease. American Journal of Psychiatry, 170(9), 1051-1058.

Nelson, P., Alafuzoff, I., Bigio, E., Bouras, C., Braak, H., Cairns, N.,… Del Tredici, K. (2012). Correlation of Alzheimer disease neuropathologic changes with cognitive status: A review of the literature. Journal of Neuropathology, 71(5), 362-381.

Pedroso, R. V., Coelho, F. G., Santos-Galduróz, R. F., Costa, J. L., Gobbi, S., & Stella, F. (2012). Balance, executive functions and falls in elderly with Alzheimer’s disease (AD): A longitudinal study. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 54(2), 348-351.

Saragat, B., Buffa, R., Mereu, E., Succa, V., Cabras, S., Mereu, R.,… Marini, E. (2012). Nutritional and psycho-functional status in elderly patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 16(3), 231-236.

Stern, Y. (2012). Cognitive reserve and Alzheimer disease. Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders, 20(2), 1006-1012.