WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Correctly diagnosing a patient’s type of dementia is crucial in getting prompt and proper treatment for their condition.
- New research claims they can identify what type of dementia a patient has by analyzing the way they walk.
- The research has found that people with Lewy body dementia vary their step time and length more as compared to those with Alzheimer’s.
Over 850,000 people in the U.K. currently have dementia. One key to getting proper treatment for the condition as soon as possible is the correct identification of the type of dementia a patient has. New research published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association says that this is possible by studying the way a patient walks.
The research done by Newcastle University and funded by the Alzheimer’s Society has found that people with Lewy body dementia walk differently as compared to those with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia. Those with Lewy body dementia are asymmetric when they move and vary their step time and length more. This increases the risk of falls.
The research analyzed the walk of 110 people. This included 29 older adults that didn’t have dementia symptoms, 45 with Lewy body dementia, and 36 with Alzheimer’s. Results showed that 60% of dementia subtypes could be accurately identified by studying a person’s gait.
Lead Researcher, Dr. Riona McArdle, said: “The way we walk can reflect changes in thinking and memory that highlight problems in our brain, such as dementia.”
She also reiterated how correctly identifying what type of dementia someone has is important for patients to be given the best type of treatment that fits their needs as soon as possible.
Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society said, “In this well-conducted study we can see for the first time that the way we walk may provide clues which could help us distinguish between Alzheimer’s disease and Lewy body dementia.”
Source: Daily Mail Online