The core of this course to learn in-depth the syndrome called dementia in order to understand how to care for persons with the condition. This module will teach students about dementia starting with the basic anatomy and function of the brain and nervous system, and the diseases of the brain that cause dementia.
In this module, the student will learn how to differentiate between normal aging and dementia, identify the signs and symptoms and domains, the stages and the various types of dementia that exist such as Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia likely to be encountered. The student will learn how to assess a person with dementia holistically, by acquiring assessment skills done through observation, collecting information not only the medical conditions, the severity of symptoms but also socio-demographic information, habits, lifestyle, previous environment, family relationships among others. The student will learn skills to evaluate cognition, behavior and function, including caregiver distress. This module will teach the student how to use various dementia assessment instruments to detect and stage dementia severity. These tools include Ascertain Dementia 8 (AD8) and its comprehensive origin Clinical Dementia Rating or CDR which is commonly used by physicians to diagnose the presence of cognitive impairment or dementia and rate its severity, the Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE) and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) to assess for Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) and Disability Assessment in Dementia (DAD), KATZ and LAWTON functional scales to assess Activities of Daily Living (ADL) such as mobility, ability to dress and undress, ability to eat, groom or take a bath.
In this module, the student will be introduced to the medical management of dementia, both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic approach. The student will also be updated about current dementia research and future directions especially about early detection, treatment and prevention.