This particular cause of dementia can be reversed by a simple walking test!
There are many causes for dementia. One of the causes can sometimes be reversed. However, this is usually missed by experts during diagnosis. That’s because the signs of this reversible type of dementia is similar to those of many other disorders.
That may change. A new study says a simple walking test may be able to accurately diagnose this particular cause of dementia.
The test involves seeing how fast a person can walk, while he or she is doing something else at the same time. This could be something simple, like counting numbers backwards or carrying a tray.
This walking test can help find whether someone has a condition called idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus or progressive supranuclear palsy.
The first condition, Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH), is a result of excess fluid in the brain. Most often, this can be reversed. However, this condition is usually not diagnosed. That is because people with this condition face problems in walking, balance and thinking.
These signs are similar to other conditions, like progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). PSP is a result of damage to nerve cells in the brain.
Experts say it is important that people with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus are diagnosed correctly so they can be treated.
This can be done through the walking test. Adding an extra task while someone is walking to see how it affects their walking ability, makes the diagnosis more accurate.