Dementia-related gait changes (DRGC) mainly include decrease in walking speed provoked by a decrease in stride length and an increase in support phase. More recently, dual-task related changes in gait were found in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and non-Alzheimer dementia, even at an early stage.
Common Lewy Body Dementia Symptoms:
Shuffling gait, hunched posture, balance problems and rigid muscles (symptoms generally associated with Parkinson's Disease) Wide fluctuations between confusion and alertness, varying from day-to-day of at different times of day. Problems processing visual information.
Typically the individual can stand, but is very unsteady, taking small irregular steps. Very early in the course of apraxic walking in dementia, a cane or a walker can help. It is not uncommon to see a person go from a slow, cautious gait, to a normal walking pattern simply by taking up a cane.
Mobility. Dementia is likely to have a big physical impact on the person in the later stages of the condition. They may gradually lose their ability to walk, stand or get themselves up from the chair or bed. They may also be more likely to fall.
Gait and cognitive performance are strongly linked in neurodegenerative diseases. Gait variability (stride to stride changes) relies on higher cortical brain control. High gait variability is associated with cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer and Lewy body disorders.
Gait disorders are more prevalent in dementia than in normal aging and are related to the severity of cognitive decline. Dementia-related gait changes (DRGC) mainly include decrease in walking speed provoked by a decrease in stride length and an increase in support phase.
There are different personal risk factors that cause people to fall, however, people with dementia are at greater risk because they: are more likely to experience problems with mobility, balance and muscle weakness.
increasing confusion or poor judgment. greater memory loss, including a loss of events in the more distant past. needing assistance with tasks, such as getting dressed, bathing, and grooming. significant personality and behavior changes, often caused by agitation and unfounded suspicion.
At this stage, individuals may: • Require around-the-clock assistance with daily personal care. Lose awareness of recent experiences as well as of their surroundings. Experience changes in physical abilities, including walking, sitting and, eventually, swallowing.
Shuffling of the feet in a person with Alzheimer's or dementia typically occurs in the moderate to severe to later stages of the disease. Shuffling is a common cause of falls in affected people because sliding feet can more easily trip on rugs, door thresholds or even slightly uneven surfaces.
Vascular dementia and mobility difficulties often go hand in hand. Vascular dementia is degenerative meaning it gets worse over time although it may be possible to slow progression and to better manage symptoms.
During the middle stages, people may experience depression, anxiety, irritability and repetitive behaviors. As the disease progresses, other changes may occur, including sleep changes, physical and verbal outbursts, and wandering.
People with vascular dementia may also have changes in mood or behavior, such as irritability, loss of interest, or depression. Sometimes, people with vascular dementia have trouble with balance and movement. This might include weakness on one side of the body, and the symptoms may get worse over time.
Although the early signs vary, common early symptoms of dementia include: memory problems, particularly remembering recent events. increasing confusion. reduced concentration.
A shuffling gait in which the feet do not clear the floor may occur in Parkinson's disease (accompanied by rigidity and tremor) or in atherosclerosis involving loss of confidence and balance (accompanied by a wide stance) (see Box 3.7).
One of the most common causes of death for people with dementia is pneumonia caused by an infection. A person in the later stages of dementia may have symptoms that suggest that they are close to death, but can sometimes live with these symptoms for many months.
During the later stages of Alzheimer's disease, a person may lose the ability to move and spend much of his or her time in a bed or chair. This lack of movement can cause problems such as pressure sores or bedsores, and stiffness of the arms, hands, and legs.
Many people with dementia lose weight in the later stages. This may be because of a loss of appetite, pain or difficulties with swallowing (dysphagia) and chewing.
Introduction: The five-word test (5WT) is a serial verbal memory test with semantic cuing. It is proposed to rapidly evaluate memory of aging people and has previously shown its sensitivity and its specificity in identifying patients with AD.
Middle-stage Alzheimer's is typically the longest stage and can last for many years. As the disease progresses, the person with Alzheimer's will require a greater level of care.
Systematic review: In a PubMed literature review, we identified only one study that analyzed survival in a large, unscreened sample of people with incident dementia from routine care data. Interpretation: In people with dementia, median time until institutionalization was 3.9 years, and 5.0 years until death.
Depression, nutritional deficiencies, side-effects from medications and emotional distress can all produce symptoms that can be mistaken as early signs of dementia, such as communication and memory difficulties and behavioural changes.
Studies have shown that walking patterns can change with dementia and may look different amongst the subtypes. It has been reported that vascular dementia patients walk slower than patients with Alzheimer's disease, and that Alzheimer's disease patients have a shorter step length than healthy older adults.