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Long-term Care Communication Techniques with Dementia & Alzheimer's
Aging continuing education MFT CEUs

Manual of Articles Sections 10 - 22
Section 10
The Convergence of Counseling & Psychiatric Genetics: Alzheimer’s Disease

CEU Question 10 | CEU Answer Booklet | Table of Contents | Geriatric & Aging
Counselor CEUs, Psychologist CEs, Social Worker CEUs, MFT CEUs

Competing Systems of Gene Expression
Outside the realm of genetic regulation, there is yet another explanation of the failure of certain individuals with genetic predisposition to manifest the symptoms of disorder. In this additional case, the expression of one set of Alzheimer Aging counselor CEUgenes actually competes with the expression of another set of genes. If one applies this principle of competition to mental disorder, a mechanism emerges in which the expression of one set of genes protects the individual from the damaging effects of a second set of unrelated mental disorder genes. Dementia of the Alzheimer’s type offers a compelling example of a case in which one form of gene expression may compensate for another form.

It has been well established that Alzheimer’s disease is linked to the presence of particular genes (Blacker, 1997). The later stages of this devastating disease are characterized by a dementia that carries the potential to destroy memory, cognitive capacity, and elements of basic temperament. The individual identity once known to family, friends, and self is
eclipsed by the disease process, and distinguishing changes in brain tissue are evident when an autopsy is performed.

Although genetic links to dementia of the Alzheimer’s type have clearly been established, equally compelling information has emerged showing that it may be possible to counteract the damaging effects of Alzheimer’s genes by building complex verbal skills early in life (Snowdon, 1997; Snowdon, Greiner, Kemper, Nanayakkara, & Mortimer, 1999; Snowdon et al., 2000). Neuroscientists speculate that in the process of building these complex verbal skills, powerful brain pathways are created that are able to compensate for faculties lost through the pathological processes of the Alzheimer’s disease.

Autopsy results reveal that, in many cases, the brains of highly verbal individuals harbor the pathological changes characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease but that outwardly these individuals do not show any significant deficits in memory, cognition, or affect. Although there is clear evidence that the Alzheimer’s genes are being expressed, the genes responsible for laying down alternate pathways are effectively mitigating the outward manifestation of the disease.

In practical terms, knowing that it may be possible to prevent outward manifestations of Alzheimer’s pathology role of advocacy in early childhood. Counselors could contribute significantly to Alzheimer’s prevention efforts by advocating for preschool reading programs and other initiatives that foster verbal development. In fact, counselors have opportunities
throughout the life course to help prevent the symptoms of Alzheimer’s dementia. By targeting other variables correlated with the manifestation of Alzheimer’s pathology, such as stress (Kiecolt-Glaser & Glaser, 2001; Sapolsky, 1996; Snowdon, 1997), depression (Green et al., 2003), and cardiovascular disease (Snowdon et al., 1997), the role of the counselor in Alzheimer’s prevention efforts could include, for example, individual counseling for stress and depression, social action targeting systems variables that result in high stress or depression levels, or advocacy for healthy diet and exercise programs for adults.
- Douthit, Kathryn ; The Convergence of Counseling and Psychiatric Genetics: An Essential Role for Counselors; Journal of Counseling & Development, Winter 2006, Vol. 84, Issue1.

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Personal Reflection Exercise Explanation

The Goal of this Home Study Course is to create a learning experience that enhances your clinical skills. We encourage you to discuss the Personal Reflection Journaling Activities, found at the end of each Section, with your colleagues. Thus, you are provided with an opportunity for a Group Discussion experience. Case Study examples might include: family background, socio-economic status, education, occupation, social/emotional issues, legal/financial issues, death/dying/health, home management, parenting, etc. as you deem appropriate. A Case Study is to be approximately 250 words in length. However, since the content of these “Personal Reflection” Journaling Exercises is intended for your future reference, they may contain confidential information and are to be applied as a “work in progress.” You will not be required to provide us with these Journaling Activities.
The article above contains foundational information. Articles below contain optional updates.

Personal Reflection Exercise #1
The preceding section contained information about the convergence of counseling and psychiatric genetics with Alzheimer’s Disease. Write three case study examples regarding how you might use the content of this section in your practice.

Online Continuing Education QUESTION 10
According to Douthit, how might it be possible to counteract the damaging effects of Alzheimer’s genes? Record the letter of the correct answer the CEU Answer Booklet.

 
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CEU Answer Booklet for this course | Geriatric & Aging
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The article above contains foundational information. Articles below contain optional updates.
Could Parkinson's disease start in the gut? - April 26, 2017
Parkinson's disease may start in the gut and spread to the brain via the vagus nerve, according to a study. The vagus nerve extends from the brainstem to the abdomen and controls unconscious body processes like heart rate and food digestion.
Nanoparticles can travel from lungs to blood, possibly explaining risks to heart - April 26, 2017
Tiny particles in air pollution have been associated with cardiovascular disease, which can lead to premature death. But how particles inhaled into the lungs can affect blood vessels and the heart has remained a mystery. Now, scientists have found evidence in human and animal studies that inhaled nanoparticles can travel from the lungs into the bloodstream, potentially explaining the link between air pollution and cardiovascular disease.
Genes associated with resilience against brain pathology identified - April 25, 2017
Researchers have discovered two genes, known as UNC5C and ENC1, that are associated with aging individuals having better memory and brain function than would be expected, given the amount of pathologies that accumulated in their brains.
Brain's power to adapt offers short-term gains, long-term strains - April 24, 2017
Like air-traffic controllers scrambling to reconnect flights when a major hub goes down, the brain has a remarkable ability to rewire itself after suffering an injury. However, maintaining these new connections between brain regions can strain the brain's resources, which can lead to serious problems later, including Alzheimer's Disease, according to researchers.
Methadone may reduce need for opioids after surgery - April 24, 2017
Patients undergoing spinal fusion surgery who are treated with methadone during the procedure require significantly less intravenous and oral opioids to manage postoperative pain, reports a new study.

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