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MRC Prion Unit
From fundamental research to prevention and cure

Maintaining a safe environment

Mobility of people with prion disease is linked to health status and quality of life. In prion disease there are large complexities of factors that influence mobility. All patients with Prion disease will eventually have difficulties with their mobility. In Prion disease, this presents particular problems as it is usually accompanied by a cognitive impairment or lack of insight into the patient’s disability. Many problems in care management also arise when patients present with cognitive impairment early in the disease process but mobility remains relatively intact. This group of patients present a particular challenge to local teams in terms of placement, as they are young patients under the age of 50 with often poor local service provision to meet their needs.

Reduced mobility involves a limitation in independent, purposeful physical movement of the body or of one or more extremities (NANDA). Reduced mobility in prion disease is related to body changes from loss of muscle mass, stiffer and less mobile joints, gait changes affecting balance can significantly compromise the mobility of patients with prion disease. Restricted movement affects the performance of most activities of daily living (ADLs) this is particularly relevant in prion disease as co-ordination is greatly reduced and often coupled with poor insight into the disability. Nursing goals are to ensure a safe environment whilst maintaining an acceptable quality of life for patients and their carer’s.

MRC Prion News