Frail elderly patients with dementia go too fast.
until further notice
SourceJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 77, 7, (2006), pp. 874-876
Article / Letter to editor
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Epidemiology, Biostatistics & HTA
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry
SubjectDCN 1: Perception and Action; DCN 2: Functional Neurogenomics; EBP 1: Determinants in Health and Disease; EBP 2: Effective Hospital Care; EBP 4: Quality of Care; IGMD 5: Health aging / healthy living; NCEBP 10: Human Movement & Fatigue; NCEBP 11: Alzheimer Centre; NCEBP 14: Cardiovascular diseases; NCEBP 1: Molecular epidemiology; NCEBP 2: Evaluation of complex medical interventions; NCEBP 4: Quality of hospital and integrated care; NCEBP 6:Quality of nursing and allied health care; ONCOL 5: Aetiology, screening and detection; UMCN 1.5: Interventional oncology; UMCN 3.2 Cognitive Neurosciences; UMCN 3.2: Cognitive neurosciences; NCEBP 10: Human Movement & Fatigue
The reason why patients with dementia fall more often and sustain more fractures than patients without dementia remains unclear. Therefore, the relationship between dementia and gait velocity as a marker for mobility and falls in a cohort of frail elderly (mean age of 77.3 years) inpatients was assessed. Patients with dementia were expected to walk slower than patients without dementia. A trend was indeed observed: absolute gait velocity of 0.59 m/s in patients with dementia (n = 63) versus 0.65 m/s in patients without dementia (n = 62; p = 0.19). After adjustment for parkinsonism and walking aids, however, patients with dementia walked 0.44 m/s faster than patients without dementia (p = 0.02). Probable explanations are frontal lobe disinhibition and lack of insight, causing patients with dementia to walk relatively too fast in the context of their frailty. Therefore, the high risk of falls in dementia may be partially explained by the loss of control of gait velocity.
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