Neurological Disorders

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Neurological Disorders Essay

Week # 12: July 20 to July 26 – Main post under Assignment by Wed, July 22 at 11:59 PM EST).

Students are required to post a minimum of three times per week (1 main post answering the question 100% before Wednesday at 11:59 PM EST and 2 peer responses by Sunday at 11:59 PM EST). The three posts in each individual discussion must be on separate days (same day postings / replies will not be accepted).Neurological Disorders Essay


Chapter 23 – Neurological Disorders.
Chapter 24 – Mental Health.

  1. Choose one neurological disorder discussed in your textbook. Mention signs and symptoms of the chosen disease / disorder.
  2. Discuss its management and important nursing implications.

Guidelines: The answer should be based on the knowledge obtained from reading the book, no just your opinion. If there are 4 questions in the discussion, you must answer all of them. Your grade will be an average of all answers.

Grading Criteria: Student mentions one neurological disease / disorder from the textbook (25%). Student mentions signs and symptoms of the chosen disease / disorder (25%). Student discusses management of the mentioned disease / disorder (25%). Student discusses important nursing implications.Neurological Disorders Essay

Parkinson’s Disease
One percent of people over 60 and 4% of people over 80 have Parkinson’s disease. Of all neurodegenerative
diseases, Parkinson’s disease is second only to Alzheimer’s disease in prevalence, with 5 million people
worldwide having the condition. The characteristic pathological feature of Parkinson’s disease is the
degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in a deep part of the brain called the substantia nigra pars compacta
(SNc). The SNc is part of the basal ganglia, an old part of the brain responsible for regulating movement and
some aspects of cognition. Clinical features of the disease are tremor (shaking), rigidity and slow movement
(bradykinesia). As the disease progresses, other symptoms such as gait disturbance, falls and cognitive
impairment can also appear.Neurological Disorders Essay
There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but there are medications that are available for partial (or sometimes
nearly complete) relief of symptoms during the early-stages of the disease. The later stages are often poorly
responsive, or even unresponsive, to any medical treatment. Fortunately, deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a
surgical procedure that has had some extraordinary success in treating patients for whom medicine has failed.
In DBS, electrodes are implanted deep in the patient’s brain to provide small stimulating electric currents to
specific brain regions. It is unknown how these electric currents work, but in some cases they work so well
that patients can once again walk well and live normal lives. If stimulation is turned off, symptoms return,
sometimes immediately but usually within a couple of hours.
The primary symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are:
Tremor: Tremor is the most common and well-known symptom, usually appearing in the hands or feet first,
often on one side before spreading to unaffected limbs. Most cases of the disease, around 70%, start with
tremor as the first major clinical symptom (although loss of smell often precedes it).
Rigidity: Rigidity is caused by continuous involuntary contraction of the muscles. It typically starts in the
neck and shoulder muscles before spreading to the face and limbs, making it difficult to move.
Bradykinesia: Bradykinesia is slowness in planning and executing movements, and is usually the most
disabling symptom in early Parkinson’s disease. Performing multiple movements simultaneously and
stringing movements together is particularly difficult.
Postural instability and freezing of gait: These symptoms appear in late-stage Parkinson’s disease. Postural
instability is an inability to maintain an upright posture, leading to poor balance. Freezing of gait is impaired
ability to initiate and maintain walking and to change direction when walking, leading to frequent falls.Neurological Disorders Essay
These symptoms typically do not respond to current medications and, if severe and impacting quality of life,
are good candidates for DBS.
Various other symptoms can also appear, including tingling and numbness, sleep disorders leading to
drowsiness and insomnia, autonomic nervous system disorders leading to such symptoms as low blood
pressure, undue sweating, incontinence and constipation, and ocular problems such as dry eyes and double
vision. Neurological disorders and cognitive problems such as inability to think flexibly or abstractly, poor
impulse control, poor memory and short attention span are also quite common. Dementia is up to 6 times
more likely in Parkinson’s disease patients.
Treatment of early-stage Parkinson’s disease is usually with Levodopa (L-DOPA), which adds dopamine to
the SNc and therefore relieves some of the motor symptoms. Long-term treatment with L-DOPA eventually
results in complications (dyskinesia, or involuntary movements and writhing of the body) so its use is often
delayed as long as possible. Other medications can sometimes be used instead to either replace L-DOPA or
allow a lower dose of L-DOPA to be administered. Late stage PD can sometimes be treated with DBS. DBS
does not always work, but when it does the symptomatic improvement can be remarkable. However it is
major surgery and the expected improvements need to be weighed against the risk Neurological Disorders Essay

The human brain is utterly baffling. A small organ weighing merely three pounds as an adult has the ability to control and shape a human’s life. Without it there would be nothing. There are so many different functions… and with that there are so many things that can go horribly wrong. It is amazing the capacities and that it possesses and we do not even realize it. That is why studying neurology and working on the treatment of neurological disorders is so critically important. Through the examination of Huntington’s disease, Bell’s Palsy, and Aphasia, neurologists can work to better the human mind and cure the diseases that attack it, which will infinitely enhance the lives of humans and create a brighter future for us all. The first…show more content…
Research is also being done to help with the curing of Bell’s Palsy. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) performs extensive research in order to better the understanding of how the nervous system works and what causes dysfunction in the nervous system. Some of this research entails learning more about what causes nerve damage and certain diseases and conditions that cause nerve damage. Information gained from this research can aid neurologists to find the cause of Bell’s Palsy, which would obviously lead to better treatments (NINDS, 2011). The next disease being discussed, Huntington’s Disease, is a hereditary progressive neurodegenerative disorder that can affect the psyche, emotions, and behavior. However, it is most commonly known for the loss of cognitive functioning as well as motor disturbances (Leffler, 2011). Usually the initial signs of Huntington’s Disease starts with jerky movements that can affect various parts of the body (face, arms, legs, etc.) as well as the gradual beginnings of dementia; the memory is usually impaired.Neurological Disorders Essay


Neurological disorders have been diagnosed and treated with some success for many years now. Disorders ranging from Alzheimer’s disease to Tourette’s Syndrome have been catalogued, identified, and treated. New disorders are diagnosed all the time, however, and sometimes it seems we may never be able to wipe out these diseases of the nervous system.
By far the most well known of the neurological disorders, at least in America, is a condition known as Alzheimer’s disease. It is infamous not only for it’s penchant for striking the elderly, but because we cannot fathom the cause or a working treatment. This disorder carries a certain mystique with it, because it has apparently been around since man could keep written records. In fact, Elaine Landau writes, “Shakespeare wrote about very old age as a time of “second childishness and mere oblivion,” suggesting that the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease were known and recognized even then” (23). The only thing we know of Alzheimer’s disease is that it attacks certain centers of the brain, namely the cerebral cortex, the basal forebrain, and the hippocampus. The cerebral cortex is usually the last thing to be effected, but the hippocampus and the nearby entorhinal cortex are the first victims, causing the classic memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease often leads to other serious mental and social disorders, as the patient becomes less able to function, even in everyday conditions, and can even grow violent.
Another well known disease which effects the nervous system is ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. This disease attacks the motor neurons in the peripheral nervous system, causing slow loss of control over the skeletal muscle system. The person’s brain is still active and alert, but the stimulus to move the muscles never reaches those muscles, due to the deterioration of the motor neurons Neurological Disorders Essay