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Neurologic Markers of the Progression of Alzheimer's Disease

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 January 2005

Emile H. Franssen
Affiliation:
Aging and Dementia Research Center, New York University Medical Center, New York, New York, USA
Barry Reisberg
Affiliation:
Aging and Dementia Research Center, New York University Medical Center, New York, New York, USA

Abstract

This article describes the results of studies conducted to determine the usefulness of reflex changes as markers of disease severity in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Standardized and quantified muscle stretch reflexes, cutaneous, reflexes, and developmental (primitive) reflexes were studied in normal older adults, in individuals with mild memory impairment, and in patients with AD, in all clinical severity stages as assessed with the Global Deterioration Scale (GDS), the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), and the Functional Assessment Staging (FAST) procedure. Changes in frequency and intensity of these individual reflex variables, as well as of variables consisting of combinations of these individual reflexes, appeared to be sensitive indicators of the progression of AD. These neurological reflex variables showed high Pearson correlations with the GDS (.72), the MMSE (.74), and the FAST (.80). Standardized quantified neurological reflex measures are useful as noncognitive, education-independent, and culture-independent markers of the course of AD.

Type
Peripheral Markers
Copyright
© 1997 International Psychogeriatric Association

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