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The Disease Mechanism of Alzheimer's Dementia

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While the symptoms of Alzheimer’s dementia are prevalent in many practice arenas, the disease behind the symptoms is often not clearly understood. The correlation between symptoms, etiology, and pathophysiology is not as tangible as other physiological diseases such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Dementia symptoms that present as psychiatric behaviors are often misinterpreted as willful or oppositional. This erroneous notion can lead to diminished care, practitioner burnout, and ineffective assessment. The development of an understanding of the pathophysiology of the disease process and the course of the disease can help the practitioner to better understand the correlation between the disease and the symptoms. Since the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s dementia is made by exclusion of other possible causes for the presenting symptoms, the method of understanding the underlying disease is imperative.

This teaching strategy is designed to help the student become more proficient in understanding Alzheimer’s dementia as a disease process. It was created to pair a topic that is heavily laden with complexity with an engaging approach. The premise of the strategy is similar to a game show where the participants are quizzed on content areas about the pathophysiology, etiology, course of the illness, and epidemiology of Alzheimer’s dementia. Designed as a flipped lecture approach, the students learn about the content through readings prior to class and participate in the game format in class.

The Disease Mechanism of Alzheimer's Dementia

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