NRNP 6655 Discussion Neurocognitive Disorders

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NRNP 6655 Discussion Neurocognitive Disorders

NRNP 6655 Discussion Neurocognitive Disorders

My mother used to be a teacher—an elementary school teacher. We were all so proud of her when she
completed her PhD when she was 50. Now she is 75 and has begun to have times when she does not
know what day it is. We found her wandering around the neighborhood because she could not find her
way home. Once, she forgot where she parked her car at the grocery store. She thought someone had
stolen it. The manager was so kind to drive her around the parking lot until she recognized her car. We
are afraid she might get hurt or lost.
—Gary, age 50, son of Dorothy, age 75
Neurocognitive disorders are unique among the other psychiatric disorders you have studied in that
they “are syndromes for which the underlying pathology, and frequently the etiology as well, can
potentially be determined” (DSM-5, 2013). That is, diseases or injuries are to blame for the
neurocognitive manifestations. These conditions are acquired and (in contrast to neurodevelopmental
disorders) represent a decline from a previous higher level of functioning. Neurocognitive disorders
present a diagnostic challenge for the PMHNP in that many of the signs and symptoms overlap.
This week, you will explore evidence-based psychotherapy and psychopharmacologic treatment for
neurocognitive disorders.

NRNP 6655 Discussion Neurocognitive Disorders

NRNP 6655 Discussion Neurocognitive Disorders

Learning Resources

Required Readings (click to expand/reduce)

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Sadock, B. J., Sadock, V. A., & Ruiz, P. (2015). Kaplan & Sadock’s synopsis of psychiatry (11th ed.).
Wolters Kluwer.
 Chapter 21, “Neurocognitive Disorders”
Zakhari, R. (2020). The psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner certification review manual. Springer.
 Chapter 8, “Delirium and Neurocognitive Disorders”

Required Media (click to expand/reduce)

PhysioPathoPharmaco. (2018, December 19). Alzheimer’s disease – plaques, tangles, pathogenesis, risk
factors, disease progression [Video]. YouTube.

Speed Pharmacology. (2019, July 6). Pharmacology – drugs for Alzheimer’s disease (Made easy) [Video].

Medication Review
Review the FDA-approved use of the following medicines related to treating neurocognitive disorders.
disease Delirium Parkinson’s disease


There are no FDA-approved medications
for the treatment of delirium.

Assignment: Diagnosing, and Treating Patients With Neurocognitive Disorders

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Neurocognitive disorders (NCDs) such as delirium, dementia, and amnestic disorders are more prevalent
in older adults. As the population ages and as life expectancy in the United States continues to increase,
the incidence of these disorders will continue to increase. Cognitive functioning in such areas as
memory, language, orientation, judgment, and problem solving are affected in clients with NCDs. Caring
for someone with a neurocognitive disorder is not only challenging for the clinician; it is stressful for the
family as well. The PMHNP needs to consider not only the patient but also the “family as patient.”
Collaboration with primary care providers and specialty providers is essential. Anticipatory guidance also
becomes extremely important.
There is no Assignment due this week. You should review this week’s Learning Resources and consider
the insights they provide about assessing, diagnosing, and treating neurocognitive disorders. Use this
quiet week to work on your practicum assignment if you are taking both courses concurrently.

What’s Coming Up in Week 8?

Photo Credit: [BrianAJackson]/[iStock / Getty Images Plus]/Getty Images

In Week 8, you will analyze the signs, symptoms, and pathophysiology of neurodevelopmental disorders.
These disorders occur when brain development does not follow expected trajectories. While some of
these disorders can be resolved with appropriate intervention, others are chronic.
Next Week

To go to the next week:
Week 8

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