Treatment of dementia and Alzheimers disease Mental health NCLEXRN Khan Academy
Scientists and physicians continue to learn more and more about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in general, but unfortunately, they still haven’t found a cure. With that said, though, there are medications that can help lesson the symptoms of dementia, like memory loss and confusion. Currently, all the medications approved.
By the Food and Drug Administration or the FDA are aimed at either one of two neurotransmitters: acetylcholine or glutamate. The first class of drugs are cholinesterase inhibitors. Acetylcholine is a really important neurotransmitter in our brain and nervous system. Even though it has important functions in other parts of our body, in our brain, it helps our neurons communicate.
And it’s this communication of our neurons that allows our brain to think and do things like sustain attention, sense things, learn and remember things. Okay, so, say we have these two neurons here that are trying to communicate, one transmitting neuron and one receiving neuron. The transmitting neuron releases.
The neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which then binds to an acetylcholine receptor on the receiving neuron. And this is how these two neurons communicate, right? To sort of regulate this process, though, you have this enzyme that constantly breaks down the acetylcholine that’s being released and this sort of makes sure that too much doesn’t build up. And this guy is called acetylcholinesterase,.
And it breaks acetylcholine down into acetic acid and choline. Think of acetylcholinesterase like PacMan and all of these acetylcholines as the little dots that he eats. He’s constantly going around eating the dots, but some of them may get by to communicate between the neurons.
So, it’s like this balance, right, of some of the dots being eaten and some communicating. Acetylcholinesterase is a type of cholinesterase. So, if we throw a cholinesterase inhibitor into the mix, like the ghost in PacMan, then we inhibit or stop our PacMan from doing his job of eating the dots, right? Which means more of these dots build up, and we tilt the balance in favor of the dots.
Or acetylcholine. Now, patients with Alzheimer’s disease, though, already have decreased levels of dots in the first place. So, with PacMan there, they have even less. But if we inhibit PacMan, then we have less dots being eaten, right? And so, we end up with more active acetylcholine. And by doing this, by stopping the enzyme that breaks.
Leukemia treatment Hematologic System Diseases NCLEXRN Khan Academy
Voiceover: So let’s talk about leukemia treatment. And generally speaking, we treat leukemia with chemotherapy with different types of chemo, chemotherapy. And what chemotherapy is, is chemicals so that’s where chemo comes from or chemicals that kill cells. And specifically chemotherapy.
Targets rapidly dividing cells. So cancer cells, leukemia cells are very rapidly dividing cells as we know, and that’s how chemotherapy is able to target the leukemia cells. Now something to keep in mind is that, the cancer cells, leukemia cells are not the only rapidly dividing cells inside the body,.
There are other rapidly dividing cells. And that’s something that we’ll talk about at greater lengths later on. So the way we administer chemotherapy is actually in three different phases. And the way I like to think of this is kind of like a black ops mission. Something that’s very organized.
And well thought out and very efficient. So the first phase of chemotherapy treatment is called the induction phase. The induction phase. And the induction phase usually last somewhere around four weeks, and the goal of induction, the goal of induction is to kill as many leukemia cells as possible.
The goal is to kill all of the leukemia cells. And does this happen in four weeks? Well not necessarily all of the time, but that’s our goal. Now, at the end of the four weeks, we don’t just assume that we’ve been successful in killing all of the leukemia cells. We, we double check to see if we’ve been successful.
And the way that we do that is by taking a look inside the bone marrow. So if this is the bone, we’ll take a needle, we’ll insert it inside the bone, and you guys know where I’m going with this, and we’ll draw out some fluid. So we’ll do a bone marrow aspiration, and what we hope to see is that all of the cells inside.
The bone marrow are normal cells, there are no more leukemia cells left, that there are only normal blood cells inside the bone marrow. And if that’s the case, if we’ve killed off all of the leukemia cells, we say that the patient has gone into remission. And something that you should keep in mind is that.