Dementia and movement disorders.
With a greying European society the consequences are already visible with an increase of the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related neurodegenerative and mental disorders. Therefore it is no surprise that the health care cost of brain disease is expected to increase the next decade exponentially (Gustavsson et al 2011). Research focussing on understanding the pathophysiologic mechanisms, diagnostics and developing new therapeutic strategies are speeding up.
Although cognitive decline is gaining by far the most attention in research Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, movement disorders are frequently reported yet poorly understood and understudied. [Scherder 2010, Souren 1997].
Interestingly Ramakers et al in 2007 showed that 5 years prior to the diagnosis of dementia these people significantly more often visited their home physician in contrast with cognitive healthy age matched controls. Besides cognitive problems gait problems were the most frequently reported. In diseases like vascular dementia and dementia lewy body motor disturbances are in the early stages already more prominent visible this in contrast with Alzheimer’s disease in which the motor problems are clinically only mentioned in the late stages of the disease. However in the earlier stages of all dementia’s motor control is already compromised in a very distinctive way (Scherder 2010). In this lecture we will show the latest research in this field.