Assessing and Treating Clients With Dementia – 76-year-old Iranian Male
BACKGROUND Mr. Akkad is a 76 year old Iranian male who is brought to your office by his eldest son for “strange behavior.” Mr. Akkad was seen by his family physician who ruled out any organic basis for Mr. Akkad’s behavior. All laboratory and diagnostic imaging tests (including CT-scan of the head) were normal. According to his son, he has been demonstrating some strange thoughts and behaviors for the past two years, but things seem to be getting worse. Per the client’s son, the family noticed that Mr. Akkad’s personality began to change a few years ago. He began to lose interest in religious activities with the family and became more “critical” of everyone. They also noticed that things he used to take seriously had become a source of “amusement” and “ridicule.” Over the course of the past two years, the family has noticed that Mr. Akkad has been forgetting things. His son also reports that sometimes he has difficult “finding the right words” in a conversation and then will shift to an entirely different line of conversation. SUBJECTIVE During the clinical interview, Mr. Akkad is pleasant, cooperative and seems to enjoy speaking with you. You notice some confabulation during various aspects of memory testing, so you perform a Mini-Mental State Exam. Mr. Akkad scores 18 out of 30 with primary deficits in orientation, registration, attention & calculation, and recall. The score suggests moderate dementia. MENTAL STATUS EXAM Mr. Akkad is 76 year old Iranian male who is cooperative with today’s clinical interview. His eye contact is poor. Speech is clear, coherent, but tangential at times. He makes no unusual motor movements and demonstrates no tic. Self-reported mood is euthymic. Affect however is restricted. He denies visual or auditory hallucinations. No delusional or paranoid thought processes noted. He is alert and oriented to person, partially oriented to place, but is disoriented to time and event [he reports that he thought he was coming to lunch but “wound up here”- referring to your office, at which point he begins to laugh]. Insight and judgment are impaired. Impulse control is also impaired as evidenced by Mr. Akkad’s standing up during the clinical interview and walking towards the door. When you asked where he was going, he stated that he did not know. Mr. Akkad denies suicidal or homicidal ideation. Diagnosis: Major neurocognitive disorder due to Alzheimer’s disease (presumptive) Decision Point One Begin Exelon (rivastigmine) 1.5 mg orally BID with an increase to 3 mg orally BID in 2 weeks RESULTS OF DECISION POINT ONE Client returns to clinic in four weeks The client is accompanied by his son who reports that his father is “no better” from this medication. He reports that his father is still disinterested in attending religious services/activities, and continues to exhibit disinhibited behaviors You continue to note confabulation and decide to administer the MMSE again. Mr. Akkad again scores 18 out of 30 with primary deficits in orientation, registration, attention & calculation, and recall Decision Point Two Increase Exelon to 4.5 mg orally BID RESULTS OF DECISION POINT TWO Client returns to clinic in four weeks Client’s son reports that the client is tolerating the medication well, but is still concerned that his father is no better He states that his father is attending religious services with the family, which the son and the rest of the family is happy about. He reports that his father is still easily amused by things he once found serious Decision Point Three Increase Exelon to 6 mg orally BID Guidance to Student At this point, the client is reporting no side effects and is participating in an important part of family life (religious services). This could speak to the fact that the medication may have improved some symptoms. you needs to counsel the client’s son on the trajectory of presumptive Alzheimer’s disease in that it is irreversible, and while cholinesterase inhibitors can stabilize symptoms, this process can take months. Also, these medications are incapable of reversing the degenerative process. Some improvements in problematic behaviors (such as disinhibition) may be seen, but not in all clients. At this point, you could maintain the current dose until the next visit in 4 weeks, or you could increase it to 6 mg orally BID and see how the client is doing in 4 more weeks. Augmentation with Namenda is another possibility, but you should maximize the dose of the cholinesterase inhibitor before adding augmenting agents. However, some experts argue that combination therapy should be used from the onset of treatment. Finally, it is important to note that changes in the MMSE should be evaluated over the course of months, not weeks. The absence of change in the MMSE after 4 weeks of treatment should not be a source of concern. Review the interactive media piece assigned by your Instructor. Reflect on the patient’s symptoms and aspects of the disorder presented in the interactive media piece. Consider how you might assess and treat patients presenting with the symptoms of the patient case study you were assigned. You will be asked to make three decisions concerning the diagnosis and treatment for this patient. Reflect on potential co-morbid physical as well as patient factors that might impact the patient’s diagnosis and treatment. By Day 7 of Week 8 Write a 1- to 2-page summary paper that addresses the following: Briefly summarize the patient case study you were assigned, including each of the three decisions you took for the patient presented. Based on the decisions you recommended for the patient case study, explain whether you believe the decisions provided were supported by the evidence-based literature. Be specific and provide examples. Be sure to support your response with evidence and references from outside resources. What were you hoping to achieve with the decisions you recommended for the patient case study you were assigned? Support your response with evidence and references from outside resources. Explain any difference between what you expected to achieve with each of the decisions and the results of the decision in the exercise. Describe whether they were different. Be specific and provide examples.
Rosenthal, L. D., & Burchum, J. R. (2021). Lehne’s pharmacotherapeutics for advanced practice nurses and physician assistants (2nd ed.) St. Louis, MO: Elsevier. Chapter 11, “Basic Principles of Neuropharmacology” (pp. 67–71) Chapter 12, “Physiology of the Peripheral Nervous System” (pp. 72–81) Chapter 12, “Muscarinic Agonists and Cholinesterase Inhibitors” (pp. 82–89) Chapter 14, “Muscarinic Antagonists” (pp. 90-98) Chapter 15, “Adrenergic Agonists” (pp. 99–107) Chapter 16, “Adrenergic Antagonists” (pp. 108–119) Chapter 17, “Indirect-Acting Antiadrenergic Agents” (pp. 120–124) Chapter 18, “Introduction to Central Nervous System Pharmacology” (pp. 125–126) Chapter 19, “Drugs for Parkinson Disease” (pp. 127–142) Chapter 20, “Drugs for Alzheimer Disease” (pp. 159–166) Chapter 21, “Drugs for Seizure Disorders” (pp. 150–170) Chapter 22, “Drugs for Muscle Spasm and Spasticity” (pp. 171–178) Chapter 24, “Opioid Analgesics, Opioid Antagonists, and Nonopioid Centrally Acting Analgesics” (pp. 183–194) Chapter 59, “Drug Therapy of Rheumatoid Arthritis” (pp. 513–527) Chapter 60, “Drug Therapy of Gout” (pp. 528–536) Chapter 61, “Drugs Affecting Calcium Levels and Bone Mineralization” (pp. 537–556) American Academy of Family Physicians. (2019). Dementia. Retrieved from http://www.aafp.org/afp/topicModules/viewTopicModule.htm?topicModuleId=5 This website provides information relating to the diagnosis, treatment, and patient education of dementia. It also presents information on complications and special cases of dementia. Linn, B. S., Mahvan, T., Smith, B. E. Y., Oung, A. B., Aschenbrenner, H., & Berg, J. M. (2020). Tips and tools for safe opioid prescribing: This review--with tables summarizing opioid options, dosing considerations, and recommendations for tapering--will help you provide rigorous Tx for noncancer pain while ensuring patient safety. Journal of Family Practice, 69(6), 280–292.