Spatial disorientation in Alzheimer’s disease: the role of spatial navigation impairments and the outdoor environment

Puthusseryppady, Vaisakh (2021) Spatial disorientation in Alzheimer’s disease: the role of spatial navigation impairments and the outdoor environment. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

[img]
Preview
PDF
Download (3MB) | Preview

Abstract

Spatial disorientation is one of the earliest and most distressing symptoms seen in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients, and is associated with impairments to the spatial navigation domain. Although investigated from a virtual reality (VR) and real-world (RW) perspective, very little is known about the extent to which spatial navigation impairments in VR environments and whether any navigation-related factors associated with the outdoor environment relate to patients’ risk for experiencing spatial disorientation in the community. The aim of this thesis is to study the role of spatial navigation impairments and the outdoor environment in contributing to spatial disorientation in AD. In the experimental Chapters 2 and 3, using police case records of dementia-related missing incidents, we show that increased outdoor landmark density and complex road network structure are potential environmental risk factors for spatial disorientation. In the experimental Chapter 4, using GPS tracking, we show that spatial disorientation has a negative impact on the outdoor mobility patterns of AD patients in the community. Lastly, in the experimental Chapter 5, we show that although AD patients exhibit spatial navigation impairments in both VR and RW settings, VR navigation tests did not predict patients that are at a high risk for experiencing spatial disorientation in the community. Our work offers insight into RW factors associated with spatial disorientation in AD and highlights the importance of relating VR navigation impairments of patients to their spatial disorientation in the community. Furthermore, our results also provide a platform for future studies to study and build a cognitive and demographic profile for patients at a high risk for experiencing spatial disorientation in the community.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2021 14:07
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2021 14:07
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/80222
DOI:

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item