The current theoretical investigation aimed to explore common pathophysiological mechanisms underlying dementia and pressure ulcers (PU). Along with the increased longevity, especially in frail elderly patients, there is a higher rate of functional and cognitive impairment with dementia coinciding with immobility, which results in a higher rate of PU. Understanding common etiological paths resulting in pressure ulcers and dementia is likely to produce new treatment strategies that could lead to the prevention of comorbid complications. Data collected from elderly dementia patients indicate a deterioration of several neurophysiological subsystems associated with motor, sensory, autonomic, cognitive, or behavioral pathways, supporting a "close pathophysiological interrelation" perspective linking PU with dementia progression. Overall, the authors' theoretical systemic-model of disease progression and PU comorbidity proposes that increased clinician awareness to PU in mild to moderate dementia may suppress the accelerated development of PU, resulting in less patient suffering, reduced long-term care hospitalization, and hopefully PU prevention.
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- Advanced dementia
- Alzheimer's disease
- pressure ulcers