Handwriting markers of Dementia (Alzheimer’s disease)
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. One of the potential tools for early detection of the onset of the disease is the handwriting analysis. It can be a warning signal for a serious medical investigation. The dynamics of handwriting changes are also a good indicator of the progression of the disease and the effectiveness of therapy. The authors have developed two corresponding tests. The first (AD-HS) allows the assessment of handwriting markers of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease from an available handwriting sample. The second (AD-HC) is designed to assess dynamics by comparing two handwritten documents written at different times.
The pilot study includes 16 patients who were found to be at different stages of the disease by medical examination. They all provided old handwriting samples dated 10-20 years ago and new handwriting samples specifically written as part of the experiment. Evaluation of 36 handwriting characteristics showed that both tests were effective in identifying Alzheimer’s disease and its stage. The correlation between the handwriting analysis and the medical test result was 0.62. Further refinement of the proposed tests and expansion of the research base will enable handwriting exercises to be incorporated into supportive therapy to slow the progression of the disease.