Dementia affects more than 50 million individuals worldwide, and as the population ages, this figure will only rise. Sadly, no treatment has been discovered yet, but experts are still looking for one and developing new methods to identify the condition.
Rona McArdle, a research associate at Newcastle University in the UK and member of the Brain and Movement Research Group, recently conducted a study to investigate the relationship between walking and dementia. According to McArdle's view, our walking patterns alter at the same time that memory performance declines and cognitive impairment manifests.
She conducted studies to determine whether there were any connections between Lewy body dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
We walk differently and become less aware and focused when we have lewy body dementia. Unfortunately, this leads to a lot of people receiving false Alzheimer's diagnosis.
It is crucial to give patients the right diagnosis since some medications, such as antipsychotics, can be hazardous to those who have dementia with Lewy bodies.
She studied how persons with both disorders walked as part of her studies. She watched their gait patterns and how slowly they walked.
She divided the participants into three groups, one of which was a control group made up of seniors 65 and older who were cognitively healthy. Alzheimer's patients and those with Lewy body dementia made up her other two groups.
Then, in order to see their electronic footprint, she instructed them to walk on a mat equipped with thousands of sensors. Their gait patterns were examined by the electronic footprint, including their speed, the length of their steps, and the time it took them to complete a step.
Between the normal group and the dementia group, she discovered a clear distinction. Dementia patients took fewer steps and moved more slowly.
They walked differently than the others and spent more time on two feet than the others.
She also stated in the Conversation that she had found that persons with Lewy body dementia had a distinctive walking style that set them apart from others with Alzheimer's disease. When they walked, their gaits were considerably more erratic and uneven.
Currently, diagnosis is made solely through observation and symptom reports, which highlights the necessity of memory tests for medical professionals. Brain scans are also employed. But patients aren't evaluated if there aren't any obvious symptoms. Fortunately, it might be simpler to diagnose people if we comprehend the connections between walking and the illness.
According to McArdle, there is currently no therapy for dementia, but a proper diagnosis opens doors to resources like support groups, educational materials, and medications that can lessen symptoms.
The more research and knowledge we have, the sooner patients can receive medication and treatments to enhance their overall quality of life. Hopefully, one day we can find a cure.
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