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August 2021

Motor function and disability in the dementias

Author(s): Broe, G. A., Grayson, D. A., Creasey, H.

Journal/Book: Int J Geriat Psychiat. 2000; 15: Baffins Lane Chichester, W Sussex PO19 1UD, England. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 897-903.

Abstract: Epidemiological and neuropathological series have identified three predominant dementing processes, Alzheimer's disease (AD), vascular dementia (VaD) and dementia associated with Lewy bodies (termed Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD) in this paper). While each has its own distinguishing features and by definition all impact upon day to day functioning, no random community derived sample has examined clinical features as defined by gait and balance abnormalities and compared disability ratings of the three dementias simultaneously. Six hundred and forty-seven community dwelling subjects participated in the Sydney Older Persons Study and of these 537 participated in a medical assessment. Of these 537,482 informants rated disability. Gait and balance abnormalities of the three major dementias were identified and the association of the dementias with disability examined. The three major dementias showed evidence of both slowing and ataxia in gait and balance tests. This was maximal in those with PDD. Similarly, all showed evidence of disability that was maximal in those with PDD. In conclusion, this study has identified that gait abnormalities are present in all three dementias to a varying degree. It is hypothesised that the varying levels of disability observed are a consequence of the varying levels of motor impairment, resulting in greater levels of disability in those with PDD.

Note: Article Waite LM, C25 Concord Hosp, Ctr Educ & Res Ageing, Concord, NSW 2139, AUSTRALIA

Keyword(s): dementia; gait dysfunction; motor impairment; disability; ALZHEIMERS-DISEASE; MULTIINFARCT DEMENTIA; CLINICAL-DIAGNOSIS; VASCULAR DEMENTIA; GAIT DISTURBANCE; SENILE DEMENTIA; PREVALENCE; DISORDERS; PEOPLE; SIGNS


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