The electrical discharge of neurons associated with seizure activity stimulates a marked rise in cerebral metabolic activity. Estimates from animal experiments indicate that energy utilization during seizures increases by more than 200", while tissue adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels remain at more than 95" of control, even during prolonged status epilepticus. The brain generally withstands the metabolic challenge of seizures quite well because enhanced cerebral blood flow delivers additional oxygen and glucose. Mild to moderate degrees of hypoxemia that commonly accompany seizures are usually harmless. However, severe seizures and status epilepticus can sometimes produce an imbalance between metabolic demands and cerebral perfusion, especially if severe hypotension or hypoglycemia is present. A marked increase in glutamate release, which occurs during a prolonged seizure, is likely to result in the activation of all types of glutamate receptors. Although kainic acid produces seizures in the immature brain, it produces little cytotoxicity.
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The medical model in psychiatry assumes medical intervention is the treatment of choice for the constellations of diagnosed symptoms that comprise various mental disorders. These treatments may include pharmacotherapy, electroconvulsive treatment, brain stimulation, and psychosurgery. Therefore, psychopharmacology for older adults can be considered palliative rather than a cure for a brain disease causing psychopathology. Older adults experience many psychopathological problems, including anorexia tardive, anxiety disorders, delusional disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders, schizophrenia, and co-occurring disorders with substance abuse/dependence disorders. Therefore, it is critical for the social worker to understand the various manifestations of psychological problems in older adults from the perspective of an older adult, rather than extrapolating information commonly taught in social work programs that neglect to focus on older adults and restrict teaching to psycho-pathological problems in younger and middle-aged adults.
The baby boom cohort brings with it multiple types of substance abuse. Bisexual older adults have more co-occurring psychological problems than heterosexual older adults, older gay males, and older lesbians. An interesting finding is that immigration is contributory to older adult substance abuse. Older adults with alcohol-abuse problems do not seek help for their problems. Rather, they are often identified as having an alcohol-use problem when seeking care for other medical or psychological problems. Social workers assessing an older adult for alcohol abuse often confuse symptoms of possible alcohol abuse with dementia. Prescribing opioids and synthetic opioids to an older adult is complicated. An older adult can suffer from many forms of inner tension. Combining motivational interviewing with cognitive behavioral therapy is shown to be more effective for treating substance abuse that either therapeutic modality alone.
For older adults, the phenomenon of death is accepted and does not induce the fear experienced by younger adults. Older adults who do not engage in end-of-life planning may receive unwanted, unnecessary, costly, and painful medical interventions or withdrawal of desired treatment. Many older people feel that the goal of palliative care is to make the best possible dying experience for the older adult and his/her family. In addition to palliative care, an older adult will most likely find himself or herself in an intensive care unit as part of his or her terminal care. Euthanasia, or hastened death, is seen by some as an alternative to palliative care. A psychological aspect of death that an older adult is concerned with, in addition to place of death, is whether he or she will die in his or her sleep or die suddenly, making the death experience an individual phenomenon.
This concluding chapter summarizes the major points regarding elder abuse (EA) presented in the preceding chapters. It concludes the chapter by taking one last opportunity to encourage exploration and initiation of system-level efforts to solve a major public health problem. The socioecological framework for violence prevention utilized within domestic and global public health work is applicable and extendable to EA. Throughout this book, the authors have argued that EA is a public health problem and that EA may well be among the most under-recognized and under-resourced population health problems of the early 21st century. Public health has frameworks, tools, approaches, relationships, structures, systems, and a variety of agents and organizations poised to address the problem of EA. The imprimatur of the growing population of older adults and the character of demographic transitions occurring globally provide the perfect rationale for action—now.
Recent advancements in molecular genetics have expanded our understanding of the etiology of many neurological diseases and neurodevelopmental abnormalities. Having a comprehensive understanding of genetics is essential in treating patients with metabolic epilepsies. Genetic counseling has been defined as a process of helping people understand and adapt to the medical, psychological, and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease. Some of the components of a genetic counseling interaction include interpretation of family and medical histories to assess the chance of disease occurrence or recurrence; education about inheritance, testing, management, prevention, resources, and research; and counseling to promote informed choices and adaptation to the risk or condition. The genetic counselor may also educate patients and their families about the underlying genetics of their epilepsy and the relevance of a genetic cause of epilepsy for family members, including recurrence risk, reproductive options and the possible teratogenic effect of antiepileptic drugs.Source:
This chapter presents a brief review of the enzymes, transporters, and cofactor producers of the urea cycle. Seizures have long been associated with urea cycle disorders (UCDs), thought to be caused by high levels of ammonia. Furthermore, the brain damage obtained during metabolic crisis has been thought to damage critical structures, leading to epilepsy after the conclusion of the crisis. The first and most critical step of successful treatment of UCDs is recognition. Neurologic monitoring is an essential part of the emergency management of UCDs. The neurological abnormalities observed in patients with urea cycle defects are vast. Controlling ammonia levels by dialysis and complementary medication are needed. EEG monitoring should be initiated early, as this may be very useful for clinical management and indication of untreated metabolic crises. Furthermore, aggressive treatment of clinical and subclinical seizure activity may be helpful in optimizing outcomes for these patients.Source:
Clinical neurophysiology (CNP) is a time-honored medical specialty that continues to make great strides, bolstered by rapid advances in neuroscience, biomedical engineering, and computer technology. It encompasses a wide range of methods and techniques for recording, presenting, and analyzing neurophysiologic signals in order to diagnose sensory, motor, autonomic, and central nervous system disorders. Testing performed in CNP or procedures used in current neurological practice include a variety of modality-specific and mixed-modality tests. Modality-specific CNP tests are performed to assess specific functional modalities using biomedical instruments that measure changes in neurophysiologic signals that occur spontaneously or with activation. Mixed-modality CNP tests utilize two or more test modalities to assess complex states (e.g., sleep, coma), to track multiple physiologic parameters, or to obtain more accurate results. CNP tests are classified based on functional anatomy or neural pathway tested. This chapter discusses artifact recognition and presents sources of artifacts in clinical neurophysiologic testing.
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This chapter provides a brief introduction to approaches to coping theory-from its early roots in psychodynamic defense mechanisms, through cognitive and personality approaches to coping styles, to more current work on coping and adaptive processes. The coping process approach recognizes that coping strategies are influenced not only by person characteristics such as personality, values, and developmental history but also by environmental demands and resources. The chapter develops a definition of ‘resilience’ as the ability to recognize, utilize, and develop or modify resources at the individual, community, and sociocultural levels in the service of three goal-related processes: maintenance of optimal functioning, given current limitations; development of a comfortable life structure; and development of a sense of purpose in life. A common assumption of life-span developmental theories is that the increasing physical and sometimes cognitive limitations with age necessitate changes in adaptive processes.Source: