Sensorimotor Examination

The sensorimotor neurological examination does not contribute to making a diagnosis of dementia per se. However, the pattern of neurological abnormalities often point to likely underlying diseases that may be contributing to the dementing process. For example, a clinician should look for evidence of upper motor neuron signs (e.g., hemiparesis, asymmetric deep tendon reflexes, extensor plantar responses) that would suggest the possibility of stroke or structural lesion. Extrapyramidal signs would raise the question of Parkinson's disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, or Lewy body dementia. Abnormalities of gait may be associated with cerebrovascular disease,

Cjd Morbidity Rates

Parkinson's disease, and normal pressure hydrocephalus. Dysarthria would alert the clinician to possible extrapyramidal disorders, bilateral strokes, de-myelinating disease, and motor neuron disease. Sensory abnormalities (e.g., peripheral neuropathy) may be associated with B12, other vitamin deficiency states, thyroid disease, or a paraneoplastic syndrome. Cerebellar signs might raise concerns about cerebrovascular disease, spinocerebellar degeneration, a paraneoplastic syndrome, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. In Alzheimer's disease, especially early in its course, the sensorimotor examination tends to be relatively benign. Some researches have pointed out that the presence of extrapyramidal signs in patients with a profile otherwise consistent with Alzheimer's disease suggests a worse prognosis (33). Extrapyramidal signs may indicate the presence of Lewy body variant of AD (34). In general, if a patient with dementia presents with focal or multifocal neurological signs, the clinician should investigate diseases other than AD that may be contributing to the patient's decline in status.

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