Can gait be a marker for dementia?
Early evidence suggests there are discrete pathological signatures of gait in very mild Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and Lewy Body Disease (LBD).
This finding may be due to the disease-specific role of cognition in gait. Accurately differentiating AD and LBD is important for treatment and disease management, and this evidence suggests gait could be a marker of dementia due to associations between discrete gait characteristics and cognitive domains.
Researchers urge caution and recommend replication with larger well-defined AD and LBD cohorts, taking into account proxy measures of pathology and imaging analysis and followed up longitudinally until postmortem.
The study cohorts believed that AD and LBD have unique signatures of gait impairment, which reflect their distinct cognitive profiles and underlying disease pathology. The hypothesis requires further exploration, with gait impairments being compared with older age groups.
This research will lay a foundation to consider the association of gait with markers of pathology, such as imaging, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and genetics, and assess the utility of gait analysis as a clinical tool for dementia diagnosis.
SOURCE: Alzheimer’s and Dementia