Frontotemporal Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

What is the purpose of this research?

The purpose of this study was to develop quantitative measurements that could be used in identifying subclinical shifts in persons with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) with the view to understanding the pattern and planning effective preventive strategies to prevent falls (Velayatham, Chandra, Bharath, & Shankar, 2017).

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What is the research question (or questions)? This may be implicit or explicit

The implied research question is as follows: Can the identification of differential patterns of involvement in the subclinical phase be of benefit in differentiating normal aging processes from common neurodegenerative disorders such as AD and FTD?

Give a complete description of the research design of this study

This study used a quantitative research approach and an experimental research design, based on the fact that the participants recruited into the study were assigned to the experimental/intervention group (8 with possible FTD diagnosis and 8 with possible AD diagnosis) and the control group (8 healthy volunteers).

What is the population (sample) for this study?

The population (sample) for this study comprised elderly persons with the possible diagnosis for the neurodegenerative disorders of AD and FTD.

Was the sampling approach adequate for the research design that was selected and explain why?

The purposive sampling approach used by Velayatham et al. (2017) is effective in experimental designs by enabling the researchers to focus on particular characteristics of a population (in this case, possible diagnosis for FTD and AD) that are of interest to the study. The sample distribution for intervention and control groups is also effective in experimental designs by making subjects within each group more homogenous.

Describe the data collection procedure

In balance, participants were required to use the Biodex Balance Master equipment to test their dynamic balance and limits of stability by shifting their body weight in various directions and for diverse periods. In gait, participants were expected to comfortably walk on a sensor-built treadmill for two minutes with the view to recording several gait-related measurements using the Biodex Gait Trainer equipment, including gait speed, stride, step length, and coefficient variation of the steps.

How were the data analyzed after collection?

Data for the study were analyzed using two statistical techniques: Descriptive statistics (means, standard deviations, and frequencies) were used to describe demographic characteristics, while one-way ANOVA was used to establish whether there are were any statistically significant variations between the groups.

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Discuss the limitations found in the study

The study utilized a small sample size, meaning that it may be difficult to generalize the findings to the wider population of elderly persons with a possible diagnosis of AD and FTD.

Discuss the authors’ conclusions. Do you feel these conclusions are based on the data that they collected?

Velayatham et al. (2017) concluded that the differential patterns of involvement (divided attention) in the subclinical phase of elderly persons can be used as an effective measure in differentiating normal aging processes from different typologies of cortical dementias, including AD and FTD. These conclusions are based on the data collected, as demonstrated by the researchers’ focus on balance and gait measurements.

How does this advance knowledge in the field?

The implication of this study is embedded in its capacity to equip health care professionals with evidence-based knowledge aimed at helping them to not only understand how to differentiate normal aging processes from diverse typologies of cortical dementias but also to initiate suitable training techniques with the view to preventing future falls.

References

Velayutham, S. G., Chandra, S. R., Bharath, S., & Shankar, R. G. (2017). Quantitative balance and gait measurement in patients with frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer diseases: A pilot study. Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, 39(2), 176-182. Web.

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