Each disorder or injury on the topic list in Week 1 Assignment 3 involves some process of brain damage or chemical alteration. When a person is diagnosed with such a disorder, the focus is to find an effective treatment. The ideal treatment for a disorder or injury would involve a medicine that would stop or reverse the process that is causing damage or reset the chemical imbalance. In some cases, that is possible, such as when a person who has epilepsy is given a drug that stops the seizures. In other cases, such as with Alzheimer’s disease, the drug treatment involves symptom management because there is no effective way of slowing the brain damage that is occurring.
Your goal for this assignment will be to research and find at least one medicine that is used for treatment or symptom management for your selected disorder or injury. Regardless of whether your treatment is a cure or a method of symptom management, you need to determine how the medicine works. Note that you do not need to be able to describe the specific mechanisms; however, you should be able to state the process in simplistic terms. For example, you might find that the medication does not alter the process of cell damage; however, it enables the neurotransmitters in the cells that remain to be used more effectively. After establishing how the treatment works, determine how effective the treatment is and how long the treatment will last. Will the person have to take the medicine for the rest of his or her life, or is it given during a brief time period? In some cases, the timing of medication application must be considered, for example, a clot-dissolving drug given in the early stages of clot formation in an ischemic stroke is more effective and leads to a better prognosis than when the drug is given later in the process.