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Neurological Disorders - Mary-Lou Case Study - Biological Science Assignment Help

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Case study 1, Part 1 — Neurological disorders (20 marks total)  

Mary-Lou is a 75-year-old widow, who lost her husband to cancer over a year ago. Her family and  friends have noticed that she has been very teary, has low self-esteem, and has lost interest in the  things she used to love such as going to bingo with her friends and gardening. Her family initially put  this down to the loss of her husband and thought it would pass with time. However, they are now  getting really concerned as they have noticed that her mood is not improving still. When asked by  her daughter if she is sleeping well, she says she has been drinking wine every night to help her go to  sleep. It also makes her feel happy and relaxed. However, what started as one glass a night has now  increased to two or three glasses a night, and she has also started drinking during the day. Her  daughter has noticed that her mum’s face always appears flushed and that she has had quite a few  colds lately. Mary-Lou is also losing her balance and experiencing mood swings. Her daughter is  worried that she is relying too heavily on alcohol and fears that she is starting to get short-term  memory loss from the alcohol consumption. She has been forgetting things such as where she put  her keys, whether she turned on the washing machine, or why she opened the fridge. She also tends  to forget the topic of conversation when talking with her daughter on the phone. Mary-Lou has also  been getting disorientated and getting lost when she goes out on her daily walks. A neighbor rang  her daughter one day to tell her that she found Mary-Lou wandering around aimlessly, and when  questioned what she was doing, Mary-Lou snapped and said she was trying to get home. Her  daughter decided it was time to take Mary-Lou to the local GP to work out what was going on with  her. 

After listening to the signs and symptoms Mary-Lou was experiencing, the GP diagnosed her with  several conditions and prescribed 50 mg of Fluoxetine/Prozac daily, a cholinesterase inhibitor, and 10 mg of Valium/diazepam daily. She was also given information on support groups and tips on what  to do given her conditions. 


Question 1 

Based on the clinical picture presented above, you should have identified several diseases/conditions we have covered in BIOL122. 

  • Name two of the diseases/conditions you identified, and 
  • List two characteristic signs or symptoms (per disease) that you noted in Mary-Lou’s history  and clinical picture. 
  •  Finally, explain the pathophysiology of both diseases/conditions you named (i.e., explain the changes that cause the disease and relate the typical signs and symptoms of the disease  to the clinical picture). 


Question 2  

Explain the mechanism of action of two drug types Mary-Lou is prescribed with and describe how  these drug actions help mitigate some of her symptoms. In you answer, make references to the  pathophysiology of the relevant diseases.


Question 3

Based on her clinical picture and history, explain if Mary-Lou suffers from alcohol addiction. Support  your answer with relevant evidence from the case study. In your answer, you should define physical and psychological dependence and explain if signs and symptoms of either can be observed in Mary Lou’s case. 


Question 4

As part of her therapy, Mary-Lou takes a new hypothetical medication (called MedX), which has  narrow therapeutic index, therefore you (as a health care professional) need to exercise special care  when it comes to the determination of her required dosage. 

MedX is taken orally and has the following features: 

  •  In healthy adults, the absorbed MedX is subject to first pass liver metabolism, which  decreases its bioavailability to 10%. 
  •  The active ingredient that enters the systemic circulation is water-soluble and shows very  high protein binding: 98% of the drug molecules present in the plasma are bound to albumin  and, to a smaller extent, ?1 globulin. 


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  • Posted on : October 23rd, 2018
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