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2016 Grants - Iaboni
A Multidimensional Tool for Assessing Mobility in Advanced Dementia
Andrea Iaboni, M.D., D.Phil.
Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-UHN
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2016 Alzheimer’s Association Research Grant (AARG)
Can a novel tool that measures multiple factors more accurately detect mobility loss across time in people with Alzheimer’s disease?
Older individuals with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, gradually lose mobility due to changes in balance, cognition, and physical strength. This loss in mobility leads to a loss of independence as well as increased risk for falls and injuries. There is currently no standard way to track changes in mobility that occur over time in individuals with dementia. In addition, most existing tools to assess mobility loss only measure one factor at a time, such as balance, and do not take into account how multiple factors may interact as the disease progresses.
Dr. Ioboni and colleagues plan to develop a new Mobility Staging for Advanced Dementia (MSAD) tool that will take into account multiple factors that may contribute to a loss of mobility in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. They will test how well the MSAD tool works for measuring different stages of mobility impairment across time in 80 older adults with moderate to severe dementia. They will also evaluate how easy the tool is to use and determine if it can help predict which individuals are most likely to experience a fall.
The results of this study could provide more comprehensive information on the stages of mobility loss as Alzheimer’s disease progresses. If successful, the researchers plan to conduct a large, longer-term study. The novel MSAD tool may help healthcare providers more accurately identify individuals with mobility problems and select the most appropriate approaches to prolong independence and prevent falls and injuries.