Decision Tree for Neurological and Musculoskeletal Disorders

*** APA 7 ***
*** Need citations ***
*** Requires 4 References within 5 years ***
To Prepare

• 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.

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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.
• Summary

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.

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.

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 Points: Select what you should do:

Decision One: Begin Razadyne (galantamine) 4mg orally twice a day
Decision Two: Increase Razadyne to 24mg extended release orally daily
Decision Three: Assess for pain


Begin Razadyne (galantamine) 4 mg orally twice a day
• 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

Increase Razadyne to 24mg extended release orally daily
• Client returns to clinic in four weeks
• The client’s son accompanies the client to his appointment today. The client is in a wheelchair and is somewhat agitated
• You are informed by the son that his father has not taken his medication since he got out of the hospital. Apparently, about 7 days after starting the Galantamine extended release, the client began having seizures which resulted in a fall and fractured hip. The son reports that his father is agitated with everyone and is asking for help in treating his agitation

Assess for Pain

Guidance to Student

Razadyne extended release 24 mg is a “target” dose—not a starting dose. Side effects of Razadyne include GI side effects as well as dizziness. Rare side effects include seizures. If no other medications were added to the client’s medication regimen and no other physical issues were present (e.g., metabolic derangements), then the high dose of Razadyne in this client would most likely be responsible for his seizures, which resulted in the fall and the hip fracture. This would represent malpractice. If you were to consider restarting Razadyne, it should be restarted at a proper starting dose, as side effects are often dose dependent.
Risperdal would not be appropriate to treat agitation in this client as the FDA has issued a black box warning against the treatment of agitation in dementia with antipsychotic medications. Although they can still be used despite black box warnings, you should conduct a comprehensive assessment of this client to see if a physical issue is causing the agitation. A hip fracture is often associated with pain, and untreated pain may be the cause of the client’s agitation. Therefore, assessment for pain would be the correct choice in this scenario.

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