Spatial-Temporal Parameters of Gait Associated With Alzheimer Disease: A Longitudinal Analysis

Chorong Oh, Richard J. Morris, Leonard L. LaPointe, Julie A.G. Stierwalt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is one of the biggest social and medical concerns in the aging world. A dual task of walking and talking is a particularly practical means to assess AD considering the cognitive and behavioral changes that characterize the disease. The purpose of the study was to assess the effect of the dual task of walking and talking on people with early stage AD under differing cognitive load levels of talking. Participants (9 women and 5 men, mean age (years) = 78.03, standard deviation [SD] = 12.06) with mild or moderate AD (mean Dementia Rating Scale 2 score = 88.14, SD = 7.07) completed 12 monthly walking sessions under no, low, or high cognitive load. They also completed the low and high cognitive load tasks while seated. Linear mixed-effects modeling revealed that values in the Functional Ambulation Profile, stride length, and velocity decreased as tasks became more complex and double support time increased at the same rate. The walking and seated conditions comparison indicated that participants’ performance on both low and high cognitive tasks was poor when they were walking rather than seated. The results show that people with early stage AD exhibited gait impairments that increased over time and when completing tasks with greater cognitive load.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Alzheimer disease
  • cognition
  • dementia
  • gait

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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