Figure 1. Brain and Neurons (MedicineNet, 2016)
Parkinson’s Disease Case Study
We chose Parkinson Disease because it is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases among older Americans. The complexity of its pathophysiology makes Parkinson Disease challenging to both identify and manage. The gradual and insidious clinical presentation of this disease means it is frequently confused both with “normal” signs of ageing and with a number of other neurological conditions. As a result, diagnosis, treatment and management are often delayed. This is especially problematic considering that Parkinson Disease is progressive, its symptoms severe and debilitating, and that there is no cure.
The fact that Parkinson Disease has varied and complicated symptomatology and that it requires a very particular treatment regimen with potentially debilitating side-effects means that it has relevance for healthcare professionals across a wide range of treatment settings. Thus, as future advance practice nurses who will be active in both primary and acute care settings, we felt it incumbent upon us to derive a more thorough and well-rounded understanding of this disease.