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Flashcards in Neurodegenerative Disorders Deck (12):

Describe dementia. What is it? How severe must symptoms be?

  • Is not a specific disease
  • describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills
  • Symptoms must be severe enough to reduce a person's ability to perform everyday activities


What is normal aging?

Normal aging

Mild Cognitive impairment



Describe normal aging. What is a normal part of aging? What is the exception?

  • Cognitive decline is a normal part of aging
    • Numeric processing and arithmetic abilities and speed (begins age 25)
    • Memory (begins as early as 30’s or as late as 60’s)
    • Reasoning (Begins 50’s or 60’s)
    • Visuoperceptual skills (Begins 50’s or 60’s)
    • Executive Functioning (30’s)
  • The exception is vocabulary and word reading
    • Stable or improving until at least 70’s


Describe mild cognitive impairment (MCI). What is it? What do they have enough capacity for?

  • Cognitive impairment great than expected with normal aging, but insufficient to impact daily activities.
  • Have enough cognitive capacity to use strategies and employ techniques taught in therapy.


Describe Alzheimer's Disease: neuroanatomy. What develops in the brain? What are they made of? What does it cause?

  • Most common form of dementia
  • “Plaques” and “Tangles”
  • Beta Amaloid (clumping)
  • Causes neuron death
  • Less tisue than normal brain


Describe the clinical presentation of Alzheimer's. What is it primarily defined by? What is impaired early on? What are some affected abilities (4)? What are some personality changes (6)? What does it offen co-occur with?

  • Primarily defined by memory loss
    • Short-term memory and recent memories are impaired early on
  • Thinking and reasoning
  • Problem Solving and Judgment
  • Planning
  • Personality changes
    • Depression, Anxiety
    • Mood swings
    • Social Withdrawal
    • Irritability and aggression
    • Distrust of others
    • Wandering
  • Often co-occurs with decreased appetite and thirst and swallowing problems (decreased ability to know when you're thirsty)
  • Often have insufficient food intake and failure to thrive
  • What should we do?


Describe assessment of Alzheimer's Disease. What test is used? Who diagnoses the condition? What can SLP do?

  • Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE)
    • Classic test, but has limitations
  • Neurologist must diagnose this condition. SLP can evaluate skills and plan interventions around these skills 


Describe treatment for AD. What are different treatment approaches (4)?

  • General ST - family member must be there to facilitate successful environment
  • Spaced Retrieval - What's your granddaughter's name? 10 sec.... Ask again. 5 min... Ask again
  • Memory Aides - book that tells their life, planner
  • Reminiscent therapy - Talk about things in the past
  • Montessori approach - fake work, baby dolls


What are three factors that go into prevention of Alzheimer's?

  • Social: More extensive social netweorks (quality), more cognitive reserve
  • Cognitive: learning new cognitive skill - cognitive reserve
  • Physical: physical activity


Describe vascular dementia. What can it also be called? How common is it? What is it caused by? What may lesions be the result of? How big are the ischemic events?  Are they cumulative?

May also be called “Multi-infarct dementia”
Second most common form of dementia
Caused by multiple ischemic events in the brain.
Lesions may be the result of stroke(s), TIAs, or insufficient oxygen to the brain
Ischemic events may be so small that the person was never diagnosed with a stroke
Ischemic episodes are always cumulative


Describe Korsakoff's Syndrome. What is it caused by? When did it used to being in people? Now?

  • Dementia Caused by brain loss due to excessive consumption of alcohol.
  • Use to begin in people in their 40s
  • With increase in binge drinking culture can be seen in 30’s or late 20’s


What is normal pressure hydrocephalus?

Excessive fluid in brain causes pressure. Can be drained (tube from brain to stomach) and return to normal functioning.