Alzheimer's Disease

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    • 00:01

      ANNE STONE: Hi, my name Anne Stone.And I'm a Assistant Professor at Rollins College.Today, I'll be talking to you about Alzheimer's disease.This video is based in part on a 2014 entryI wrote for the Encyclopedia of Health Communication.We'll start by thinking about what Alzheimer's disease is.

    • 00:23

      ANNE STONE [continued]: Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative diseaseof the brain, commonly characterizedby a decline in cognitive function.The degeneration typically results in a personbe incapable of completing everyday tasks like drivingto the grocery store, cooking, or brushing ones teeth.

    • 00:43

      ANNE STONE [continued]: People with Alzheimer's disease alsolose the ability to recognize family, friends,and places they once knew well.The growing number of cases in widespread influenceof Alzheimer's disease have drawn considerable attentionfrom scientists, researchers, and the public.And so today, I'll talk a little bit

    • 01:04

      ANNE STONE [continued]: about the causes of Alzheimer's disease, how it is diagnosed,two different types of Alzheimer's diseasethat have been discovered.And we'll end by talking about communication and care issuesfor people with Alzheimer's disease.Beginning with the causes.

    • 01:24

      ANNE STONE [continued]: Doctor Alois Alzheimer first describedwhat later became known as Alzheimer's diseasein the early 1900s.With the amazing technological advances made thoughout the 1900s, scientists like Doctor Alzheimerand his colleagues, were able to study the brain in greaterdetail than ever before.Since Doctor Alzheimer's discovery,

    • 01:46

      ANNE STONE [continued]: there have been a number of important research findings,both scientific drawing from quantitative researchparadigms, and psychosocial, drawingfrom both quantitative and qualitative methodologies.For example, in 1991, The National Institute on Agingestablished the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study

    • 02:08

      ANNE STONE [continued]: to conduct federally funded clinical trials.The first Alzheimer's drug was approved by the FDA in 1983.And an Alzheimer's vaccine was successful in mice in 1999.More recently, researchers have shifted their focusto studying genetics.

    • 02:28

      ANNE STONE [continued]: The National Alzheimer's Disease Genetic Study began in 2003.This study was a federal initiative to collectand bank blood samples from familieswho had several members who had developed Alzheimer'sdisease later in life.In 2011, the criteria for figuring out whether or not

    • 02:48

      ANNE STONE [continued]: a loved one had Alzheimer's disease were updated.These criteria focus on medical assessment.There is no single test that tells a person that heor she has Alzheimer's disease.And so the medical assessment is key.

    • 03:08

      ANNE STONE [continued]: Typically, this assessment involves a reviewof the patient's medical history,physical and neurological exams, a mental status exam,and than other tests that are usedto rule out different issues.Blood tests and brain imaging arecommon because some of the signs and symptoms associated

    • 03:30

      ANNE STONE [continued]: with Alzheimer's disease are alsoassociated with other problems, like having had a stroke.Signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's diseaseinclude memory loss, difficulty completingtasks of daily living, increased agitation, aggression,and anxiety.

    • 03:51

      ANNE STONE [continued]: Although age is a significant predictorof developing Alzheimer's disease,it is really important to note that Alzheimer's disease is nota typical part of the aging process.It's also important to note that a verifiable diagnosisof Alzheimer's disease can only occur after death if a person

    • 04:12

      ANNE STONE [continued]: consents to an autopsy.And so really we diagnose Alzheimer's diseasebased on these medical assessments and the signsand symptoms commonly associated with Alzheimer's disease.Scientists have found two different typesof Alzheimer's disease.

    • 04:32

      ANNE STONE [continued]: The first type is early onset Alzheimer's disease.This type is diagnosed if symptomsoccur before the age of 65.It's also diagnosed if people have a close relative who'vealso had Alzheimer's disease, because that meansthey have an increased risk.

    • 04:52

      ANNE STONE [continued]: There is also a genetic componentto early onset Alzheimer's diseaserelated to the APOE epsilon 4 allele.Late onset Alzheimer's disease on the other hand,is much more common.Occurs in people age 65 and older.And the genetic link is much less clear.

    • 05:15

      ANNE STONE [continued]: Alongside our efforts to better understandthe causes, diagnostic criteria, and typesof Alzheimer's disease, our focusmust continue to be on communication and careof both people with Alzheimer's disease, their lovedones, and medical professionals who provide care.Difficulty in communicating in this context

    • 05:36

      ANNE STONE [continued]: is evident both for health care providersand familial caregivers.Although familial caregivers typicallybare the immediate burden of caring for a lovedone with Alzheimer's disease, most eventuallydecide to seek support from professional caregivers.This choice is predicated on a lovedone needing advanced care and the caregiver needing respite.

    • 05:60

      ANNE STONE [continued]: Care for Alzheimer's patients in assisted living or long termcare facilities is typically deliveredby nursing staff with various levels of training.Nurses specialization equip them withparticular responsibilities and skillsto use in the care facility.However, we know that sometimes those roles aren't clearly

    • 06:20

      ANNE STONE [continued]: communicated to family members, whichcan lead to confusion and conflictsurrounding the care and treatment of a loved one.Increased attention to support and figuring outhow to support all those impacted by Alzheimer's diseaseis essential.

Alzheimer's Disease

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Abstract

Anne Stone defines Alzheimer's disease, describes some of its causes, types of Alzheimer's, diagnosis, and communication and care issues arising from this degenerative disease of the brain.

Alzheimer's Disease

Anne Stone defines Alzheimer's disease, describes some of its causes, types of Alzheimer's, diagnosis, and communication and care issues arising from this degenerative disease of the brain.

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