Medical Surgical Alzheimer’s Disease #1

Question

A client whose mother has Alzheimer disease was reading her mother’s medical history and asked the nurse what the medical term “agnosia” means. Which is the best answer by the nurse?

Answers

  1. “Agnosia is loss of memory caused by brain degeneration.”
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because loss of memory caused by brain degeneration is the definition of amnesia. Amnesia is one of the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease noticed by family members.

  2. “Agnosia is the loss of the ability to speak or comprehend language.”
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because aphasia is the loss of ability to speak or comprehend language. Aphasia is seen in Alzheimer’s as the disease progresses.

  3. “Agnosia is the inability to recognize previously familiar objects.”
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because agnosia is the inability to recognize previously familiar objects, people, or smells, even though their senses are intact. Demonstrating correct behavior, labeling objects, and sticking to a routine will help the client with the symptoms of agnosia. Rehabilitation therapies are also an intervention to explore.

  4. “Agnosia is the inability to carry out a skilled movement”
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because the ability to carry out skilled movements is called apraxia. In Alzheimer’s, this can result in a self-care deficit with bathing, dressing, and feeding.

Overview

Agnosia is the inability to recognize previously familiar objects, persons, or smells despite normal sensory functioning. It can be a result of neurological damage from Alzheimer’s disease.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

With Alzheimer’s disease comes the four As of Alzheimer’s. Amnesia, agnosia, aphasia, and apraxia. Amnesia is memory loss caused by brain degeneration which can be a result of Alzheimer disease. An example of this would be the client not remembering their home address. Agnosia is the inability to recognize previously familiar objects, people, or smells. Not recognizing a family member or what the function of a hairbrush is are examples of agnosia. Aphasia is the loss of the ability to speak or understand language. Perhaps using the wrong words or unable to form sentences that make sense. Apraxia is the inability to carry out a skilled movement. This could range from being unable to tie shoes to being unable to coordinate movements to walk.

Test Taking Tip

Know the four As of Alzehimer and their definitions. Amnesia, agnosia, aphasia, and apraxia.

Video Rationale