A longitudinal study of physical function in patients with early-onset dementia

Dement Geriatr Cogn Dis Extra. 2012 Jan;2(1):622-31. doi: 10.1159/000345782. Epub 2012 Dec 13.


Background: The aim of this study was to explore changes in mobility in terms of ambulation and transfer over 1 year in patients with early-onset Alzheimer's disease (EOAD), and to compare mobility in EOAD with patients with other types of early-onset dementia (EOOD).

Method: Forty-two patients with EOAD and 30 patients with EOOD were included. All patients were home-dwelling and had mild or moderate degree of dementia. Mobility was assessed using the Timed Up and Go Test (TUG), a modified version of the Clinical Outcome Variables Scale, timed stair walking, and timed rise from the floor.

Results: The EOAD group performed significantly better than the EOOD group on all mobility tests. After 1 year, 25 persons with EOAD were tested again. The performance on TUG (p = 0.028) and stair walking (p = 0.02) had deteriorated at the 1-year follow-up in the EOAD group.

Conclusion: Patients with EOAD performed better on mobility tasks than patients with EOOD, but their performance deteriorated at 1-year follow-up.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Dementia; Early onset; Mobility; Motor function; Physical performance; Timed Up and Go Test.