Background/Aims: Recent evidence shows that early dementia patients have deficits in manual reaching tasks. It is important to understand the impact of these functional disabilities on their quality of life. The aim of this study was to investigate if there is an association between manual reaching and measures of (instrumental) activities of daily living (IADL) in a group of patients with cognitive complaints. Methods: The manual reaching performance of 27 patients was assessed in detail with eye and hand tracking devices. Patients were divided into three groups based on self-reported loss of IADL function. Parameters describing hand response and movement times were compared between groups. Results: Patients with loss of IADL function in ≥1 domain had delayed hand response and hand movement times towards visible targets compared to patients with no loss of IADL function. Conclusion: Delays in manual reaching movements are related to the degree of loss of IADL function in early dementia patients.

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Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Department of Internal Medicine

de Boer, C., Pel, J., van der Steen, H., & Mattace Raso, F. (2015). Delays in Manual Reaching Are Associated with Impaired Functional Abilities in Early Dementia Patients. Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, 40(1-2), 63–71. doi:10.1159/000377674