Nursing Student Class Projects (Formerly MSN)

Academic Term

Summer 8-2020

Document Type


Course Number

NURS 6810

Course Name

Advanced Pathophysiology for the APN

Professor’s Name

Dr. Chovan and Dr. Butz


dementia, brain atrophy, Lewy Body dementia, Alzheimer's, co-morbidities, cognitive decline

Subject Categories

Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing


A literature review of the Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) database was performed to investigate the risk factors and pathophysiology of dementia in adults. Results were screened for English language and date of publication, with inclusion criteria of years 2015-2020. The search revealed several sub-types of dementia, as well as research into modifiable risk factors. Dementia arises mainly from accumulation of proteins in neurons, dysfunction of the blood brain barrier, vascular degeneration and hypoperfusion of tissues in the brain, and atrophy of brain tissue. Risk factors associated with cognitive decline include hypertension, obesity, insulin resistance, high fat diet, and advanced age, which are also risk factors for vascular disease. While the degeneration of neural tissue may not be reversible or completely preventable, the interplay of inflammatory processes, vascular changes, and diet lend weight to the argument for treatment of modifiable risk factors as a viable modality to slow progression and improve quality of life for patients with dementia.

Included in

Nursing Commons



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