Sunday October 20, 2019

Walking, A Key Tool Identify The Specific Type of Dementia

Researchers have found that walking may be a key clinical tool in helping doctors accurately identify the specific type of dementia

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health, dementia, walking, Alzheimer
The suffering that comes as a consequence of this disease is enormous. Pixabay

Researchers have found that walking may be a key clinical tool in helping doctors accurately identify the specific type of dementia a patient has.

Published in the Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, the research have shown that people with Alzheimer’s disease or Lewy body dementia have unique walking patterns that signal subtle differences between the two conditions.

The study also shows that people with Lewy body dementia change their walking steps more – varying step time and length – and are asymmetric when they move, in comparison to those with Alzheimer’s disease.

“The results from this study are exciting as they suggest that walking could be a useful tool to add to the diagnostic toolbox for dementia,” said study lead author Riona McArdle from the Newcastle University in the UK.

“It is a key development as a more accurate diagnosis means that we know that people are getting the right treatment, care and management for the dementia they have,” she added.

For the study, researchers analysed the walk of 110 people, including 29 older adults whose cognition was intact, 36 with Alzheimer’s disease and 45 with Lewy body dementia.

health, dementia, walking, Alzheimer
Dementia is a rapidly growing public health problem throughout the world. VOA

Participants moved along a walkway – a mat with thousands of sensors inside – which captured their footsteps as they walked across it at their normal speed and this revealed their walking patterns.

People with Lewy body dementia had a unique walking pattern in that they changed how long it took to take a step or the length of their steps more frequently than someone with Alzheimer’s disease, whose walking patterns rarely changed.

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When a person has Lewy body dementia, their steps are more irregular and this is associated with increased falls risk.

Their walking is more asymmetric in step time and stride length, meaning their left and right footsteps look different to each other.

The study found that analysing both step length variability and step time asymmetry could accurately identify 60 per cent of all dementia subtypes – which has never been shown before. (IANS)

Next Story

Smartphones Can Also Help Patients to Take Medicines on Time: Research

This study tested the impact of a smartphone application on medication compliance

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Smartphone
Researchers have found that a simple Smartphone apps can be a cost effective way of helping these patients take their medicines for the period prescribed. Pixabay

The smartphones are now frequently blamed for a lot of health problems, but it appears that the device may also have a positive impact on heart patients.

Researchers have found that a simple app can be a cost effective way of helping these patients take their medicines for the period prescribed, thereby reducing risk of premature death.

Following a heart attack, patients are prescribed medications to prevent another event.

However, one in four patients discontinue at least one drug in the first 30 days after discharge from hospital.

This leads to poor symptom control and an increased likelihood of rehospitalisation and premature death. There is currently no simple and cost-effective strategy to improve adherence.

The study presented at the 45th Argentine Congress of Cardiology (SAC 2019) held in Buenos Aires showed that heart patients using a smartphone app reminder are more likely to take their medication than those who receive written instructions.

Smartphone
For those assigned to the Smartphone group, the prescribed medication schedule was uploaded to the digital application, and an alarm would ring each time a pill should be taken. Pixabay

“We hypothesised that the app would increase adherence by 30 per cent, but the impact was even greater,” said study author Cristian M. Garmendia, of the Cardiovascular Institute of Buenos Aires.

“Patients using the app were alerted to take their pills. They also had better knowledge about why they had been prescribed each medication and could check compliance with their doctor.”

This study tested the impact of a smartphone application on medication compliance. A total of 90 heart attack patients admitted to hospital were randomly allocated to the app or detailed written information (standard care).

Adherence to medical treatment was measured at 90 days using the Morisky Medical Adherence Scale (MMAS-8).

Smartphones
The smartphones are now frequently blamed for a lot of health problems, but it appears that the device may also have a positive impact on heart patients. Pixabay

For those assigned to the smartphone group, the prescribed medication schedule was uploaded to the digital application, and an alarm would ring each time a pill should be taken.

After taking the pills, patients confirmed it in the application. Doctors could check daily adherence using a professional digital platform linked to the patient’s smartphone.

The average age of patients in the study was 63 years.

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At 90 days, significantly more patients in the digital application group were correctly taking their pills (65 per cent) compared to those who received standard care (21 per cent), said the study. (IANS)