The Potential of Gait Analysis to Contribute to Differential Diagnosis of Early Stage Dementia: Current Research and Future Directions

Morgan, Debra; Funk, Melanie; Crossley, Margaret; Basran, Jenny; Kirk, Andrew; Dal Bello-Haas, Vanina
March 2007
Canadian Journal on Aging;Spring2007, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p19
Academic Journal
Early differential diagnosis of dementia is becoming increasingly important as new pharmacologic therapies are developed, as these treatments are not equally effective for all types of dementia. Early detection and differential diagnosis also facilitates informed family decision making and timely access to appropriate services. Information about gait characteristics is informative in the diagnostic process and may have important implications for discriminating among dementia subtypes. The aim of this review paper is to summarize existing research examining the relationships between gait and dementia, including gait classification systems and assessment tools, gait patterns characteristic of different dementias (Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy Bodies, and fronto-temporal dementia), and the utility of gait analysis in early-stage diagnosis. The paper concludes with implications for future research.


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