A new study finds Alzheimer's patients lose the ability to do simple mathematical calculations as their disease progresses.
Researchers conducted a study to look at the association between calculation skills and Alzheimer's disease. The study included 20 patients with Alzheimer's disease. Eleven of the patients had mild Alzheimer's disease and nine were diagnosed with moderate Alzheimer's disease. The study also included 23 healthy elderly people. All of the participants underwent oral and written arithmetic tests.
Patients with mild and moderate Alzheimer's disease performed significantly below the healthy participants on both the oral and written tests. The patients with moderate Alzheimer's disease performed worse than those with mild Alzheimer's disease on the written test, but not on the oral tests. Researchers found errors in substitution and number position were most common among Alzheimer's patients.
Thus researchers conclude as Alzheimer's disease progresses, the ability to do calculations declines. These findings suggest that loss of calculation abilities in Alzheimer's disease is a function of disease severity.