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Buccofacial Apraxia, Oropharyngeal Dysphagia, And Dementia Severity In Community-Dwelling Elderly Patients.

A. Michel, E. Vérin, Kevin Hansen, P. Chassagne, F. Roca
Published 2020 · Medicine

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Apraxia occurs frequently in patients with dementia. Buccofacial apraxia (BFA) characteristics have been less investigated than limb or speech apraxia. An association between BFA and oropharyngeal dysphagia (OD) in old patients with dementia has not yet been explored. We aimed to assess the prevalence of BFA in patients with dementia and evaluate the relationship between BFA, OD, and dementia. We have prospectively included 117 outpatients with dementia referred to a geriatric consultation. Oropharyngeal dysphagia was diagnosed using the volume viscosity swallowing test (V-VST). Buccofacial apraxia was evaluated by miming 7 meaningless gestures. A complementary geriatric assessment of 6-domains completed the evaluation. Buccofacial apraxia was present in 54 (48.6%) patients. Proxies reported OD more frequently in the group of patients with BFA compared to the group without (P = .04). Prevalence of OD assessed with the V-VST was similar between patients with and without apraxia (P = .9). Patients with BFA had a significant lower Mini-Mental State Examination suggesting a more severe cognitive decline (18.1 ± 4.5 vs 15.8 ± 5, P = .01), a lower activities of daily living relative to disabilities (5 ± 0.8 vs 4.3 ± 1.3, P = .001), and had a lower gait speed that indicated frailty (P = .03).In conclusion, our results indicate a relationship between BFA and severity of dementia, disability, and frailty with no significant association between BFA and OD.
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