Posture recognition in Alzheimer's disease

Academic Article


  • Background. Apraxia is neurologically induced deficit in the ability perform purposeful skilled movements. One of the most common forms is ideomotor apraxia (IMA) where spatial and temporal production errors are most prevalent. IMA can be associated Alzheimer's disease (AD), even early in its course, but is often not identified possibly because the evaluation of IMA by inexperienced judges using performance tests is unreliable. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to learn if the Postural Knowledge Test (PKT), a praxis discrimination test that assesses knowledge of transitive (PKT-T subtest) and intransitive (PKT-I subtest) postures and does not require extensive training, is as sensitive and specific as the praxis performance tests. Methods. We studied 15 subjects with probable AD as well as 18 age-matched controls by having them perform transitive and intransitive gestures to command and imitation, as well as having them discriminate between correct and incorrect transitive and intransitive postures. Results. Overall on all tests, the control subjects performed better than those with AD. In addition all subjects had more trouble with transitive than intransitive gestures. Using a stepwise discriminative analysis, 81.8% of the subjects could be classified according to Group (94.4% of Controls, 66.7% of AD subjects). In this analysis, the PKT-T (transitive posture subtest) was the only measure that contributed to the discrimination of subjects. Conclusion. We found that having subjects select the correct transitive hand postures in this "booklet test" was more sensitive than grading their praxis performances even when using judges with extensive training. This suggests that this discrimination test might be an excellent means for diagnosing and screening patients for AD. The reason why recognition of transitive postures is relatively more difficult for our AD subjects is not known. Two possibilities are that the representations for intransitive movements are stronger than those for transitive movements, and hence, more resistant to degradation, or that intransitive acts are stored in parts of the brain not affected by AD.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 2356787
  • Author List

  • Mozaz M; Garaigordobil M; Gonzalez Rothi LJ; Anderson J; Crucian GP; Heilman KM
  • Start Page

  • 241
  • End Page

  • 245
  • Volume

  • 62
  • Issue

  • 3