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Current Alzheimer Research


ISSN (Print): 1567-2050
ISSN (Online): 1875-5828

Research Article

Kinematic and Pressure Features of Handwriting and Drawing: Preliminary Results Between Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer Disease and Healthy Controls

Author(s): Josep Garre-Olmo, Marcos Faúndez-Zanuy, Karmele López-de-Ipiña*, Laia Calvó-Perxas and Oriol Turró-Garriga

Volume 14, Issue 9, 2017

Page: [960 - 968] Pages: 9

DOI: 10.2174/1567205014666170309120708

open access plus


Background: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative dementia of old age, and the leading chronic disease contributor to disability and dependence among older people worldwide. Clinically, AD is characterized by a progressive cognitive decline that interferes with the ability to perform the activities of daily living. Handwriting and drawing are complex human activities that entail an intricate blend of cognitive, kinesthetic, and perceptual-motor features.

Objective: To compare the kinematic characteristics of handwriting and drawing between patients with AD, patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and healthy controls.

Methods: We used a cross-sectional and observational design to assess the kinematic and pressure features of handwriting and drawing using a computerized system. Participants were asked to copy one sentence, write a dictated sentence and an own sentence, copy two and-three dimensions drawings, and to execute the clock drawing test. By means of discriminant analyses, we explored the value of several kinematic features in order to classify participants depending on their degree of cognitive functioning.

Results: The sample consisted of 52 participants (23 AD, 12 MCI, and 17 healthy controls) with a mean age of 69.7 years (SD=8.11). The degree of correct classification was largely dependent on the nature of the groups to be classified and the specific task, and ranged between 63.5% and 100%. Diagnostic accuracy based on kinematic measures showed higher specificity values for distinguishing between normal and impaired cognition (MCI and AD), and higher sensitivity was obtained when distinguishing between impaired cognition levels (MCI vs. AD).

Conclusion: The kinematic features of writing and drawing procedures, rather than the final product, may be a useful and objective complement to the clinical assessment of patients with cognitive impairment.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment, kinematics, handwriting, dementia, memory loss.

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