Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment deteriorate fine movement control

J Psychiatr Res. 2008 Oct;42(14):1203-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2008.01.006. Epub 2008 Feb 15.


Sensory-motor dysfunctions are often associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) or mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This study suggests that deterioration in fine motor control and coordination characterizes sensory-motor deficiencies of AD and MCI. Nine patients with a clinical diagnosis of probable AD, 9 amnestic MCI subjects and 10 cognitively normal controls performed four types of handwriting movement on a digitizer. Movement time and smoothness were analyzed between the groups and across the movement patterns. Kinematic profiles were also compared among the groups. AD and MCI patients demonstrated slower, less smooth, less coordinated, and less consistent handwriting movements than their healthy counterparts. The theoretical relevance and practical implications of fine motor tasks, such as these movements involved in handwriting, are discussed relative to the deteriorated sensory-motor system of AD and MCI patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Amnesia / diagnosis
  • Amnesia / physiopathology
  • Amnesia / psychology
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Handwriting
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Practice, Psychological
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index