Dual-tasking and gait in people with mild cognitive impairment. The effect of working memory.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Cognition and mobility in older adults are closely associated and they decline together with aging. Studies evaluating associations between cognitive factors and gait performance in people with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) are scarce. In this study, our aim was to determine whether specific cognitive factors have a more identifiable effect on gait velocity during dual-tasking in people with MCI. METHODS: Fifty-five participants, mean age 77.7 (SD = 5.9), 45% women, with MCI were evaluated for global cognition, working memory, executive function, and attention. Gait Velocity (GV) was measured under a single-task condition (single GV) and under two dual-task conditions: 1) while counting backwards (counting GV), 2) while naming animals (verbal GV). Multivariable linear regression analysis was used to examine associations with an alpha-level of 0.05. RESULTS: Participants experienced a reduction in GV while engaging in dual-task challenges (p < 0.005). Low executive function and working memory performances were associated with slow single GV (p = 0.038), slow counting GV (p = 0.017), and slow verbal GV (p = 0.031). After adjustments, working memory was the only cognitive factor which remained significantly associated with a slow GV. CONCLUSION: In older adults with MCI, low working memory performance was associated with slow GV. Dual-task conditions showed the strongest associations with gait slowing. Our findings suggest that cortical control of gait is associated with decline in working memory in people with MCI.
Project description:Importance:Gait performance is affected by neurodegeneration in aging and has the potential to be used as a clinical marker for progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to dementia. A dual-task gait test evaluating the cognitive-motor interface may predict dementia progression in older adults with MCI. Objective:To determine whether a dual-task gait test is associated with incident dementia in MCI. Design, Setting, and Participants:The Gait and Brain Study is an ongoing prospective cohort study of community-dwelling older adults that enrolled 112 older adults with MCI. Participants were followed up for 6 years, with biannual visits including neurologic, cognitive, and gait assessments. Data were collected from July 2007 to March 2016. Main Outcomes and Measures:Incident all-cause dementia was the main outcome measure, and single- and dual-task gait velocity and dual-task gait costs were the independent variables. A neuropsychological test battery was used to assess cognition. Gait velocity was recorded under single-task and 3 separate dual-task conditions using an electronic walkway. Dual-task gait cost was defined as the percentage change between single- and dual-task gait velocities: ([single-task gait velocity - dual-task gait velocity]/ single-task gait velocity)?×?100. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate the association between risk of progression to dementia and the independent variables, adjusted for age, sex, education, comorbidities, and cognition. Results:Among 112 study participants with MCI, mean (SD) age was 76.6 (6.9) years, 55 were women (49.1%), and 27 progressed to dementia (24.1%), with an incidence rate of 121 per 1000 person-years. Slow single-task gait velocity (<0.8 m/second) was not associated with progression to dementia (hazard ratio [HR], 3.41; 95% CI, 0.99-11.71; P?= .05)while high dual-task gait cost while counting backward (HR, 3.79; 95% CI, 1.57-9.15; P?=?.003) and naming animals (HR, 2.41; 95% CI, 1.04-5.59; P?=?.04) were associated with dementia progression (incidence rate, 155 per 1000 person-years). The models remained robust after adjusting by baseline cognition except for dual-task gait cost when dichotomized. Conclusions and Relevance:Dual-task gait is associated with progression to dementia in patients with MCI. Dual-task gait testing is easy to administer and may be used by clinicians to decide further biomarker testing, preventive strategies, and follow-up planning in patients with MCI. Trial Registration:clinicaltrials.gov: NCT03020381.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Cognition is a key factor in the regulation of normal walking and dual-task gait assessment is an accepted method to evaluate the relationship. The objective of this study was to create a framework for task complexity of concurrent motor and cognitive tasks with gait in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). METHODS:Community-dwelling people with MCI (n = 41, mean age = 76.20 ± 7.65 years) and cognitively normal controls (n = 41, mean age = 72.10 ± 3.80 years) participated in this study. Gait velocity was collected using an instrumented walkway under one single task and six combined tasks of motor and cognitive activities. The cognitive cost was the difference between the single gait task and each of the concurrent motor and cognitive challenges. A repeated two-way measure ANOVA assessed the effect of cognitive group and walking test condition for each gait task test. RESULTS:Gait velocity was significantly slower in the MCI group under all tasks. For both groups, the concurrent motor task of carrying a glass of water conferred a challenge not different from the cognitive task of counting backwards by ones. Performance of the complex cognitive task of serial seven subtractions reduced gait velocity in both groups, but produced a greater change in the MCI group (31.8%). CONCLUSIONS:Not all concurrent tasks challenge cognition-motor interaction equivalently. This study has created a framework of task difficulty which allows for the translation of dual-task test conditions to future research and clinical practice to ensure the accuracy of assessing patient deficits and risk.
Project description:We examined relationships between cerebral amyloid-beta (A?) and cognitive-gait dual-task performance in 27 cognitively normal, mobility unimpaired elders.We assessed A? on Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB)-PET. We measured gait speed separately and while performing working-memory, response-inhibition, motor-sequencing, and phone-dialing tasks. We compared dual-task costs on gait and cognitive performance in high-A? (PiB(+)) and low-A? (PiB(-)) groups and examined the association between A? and dual-task performance decrements.PiB(+) (n = 16) were comparable with the PiB(-) (n = 11) individuals on demographics, general cognitive and physical performance, and key brain MRI characteristics. PiB(+) group demonstrated greater dual-task costs on gait speed on all cognitive tasks (p < .05) except on response inhibition. Dual-task costs on cognition were similar between groups. Overall, A? was associated with dual-task decrement on gait speed but not on dual-task decrement on cognitive performance.Preliminary evidence indicates that cerebral A? is associated with gait slowing on dual-tasking in healthy older adults.
Project description:Several studies have reported working memory deficits in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, previous studies investigating the neural mechanisms of MCI have primarily focused on brain activity alterations during working memory tasks. No study to date has compared brain network alterations in the working memory state between MCI patients and normal control (NC) subjects. Therefore, using the index of regional homogeneity (ReHo), we explored brain network impairments in MCI patients during a working memory task relative to the resting state, and identified frequency-dependent effects in separate frequency bands.Our results indicate that, in MCI patients, ReHo is altered in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) in the slow-3 band (0.073-0.198 Hz), and in the bottom of the right occipital lobe and part of the right cerebellum, the right thalamus, a diffusing region in the bilateral prefrontal cortex (PFC), the left and right parietal-occipital regions, and the right angular gyrus in the slow-5 band (0.01-0.027 Hz). Furthermore, in NCs, the value of ReHo in clusters belonging to the default mode network (DMN) decreased, while the value of ReHo in clusters belonging to the attentional network increased during the task state. However, this pattern was reversed in MCI patients, and was associated with decreased working memory performance. In addition, we identified altered functional connectivity of the abovementioned regions with other parts of the brain in MCI patients. This is the first study to compare frequency-dependent alterations of ReHo in MCI patients between resting and working memory states. The results provide a new perspective regarding the neural mechanisms of working memory deficits in MCI patients, and extend our knowledge of altered brain patterns in resting and task-evoked states.
Project description:In patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), gait instability, particularly in dual-task situations, has been associated with impaired executive function and an increased fall risk. Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) could be an effective mean to improve gait stability.This study investigated the effect of GBE on spatio-temporal gait parameters of MCI patients while walking under single and dual-task conditions.Fifty patients aged 50-85 years with MCI and associated dual-task-related gait impairment participated in this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, exploratory phase IV drug trial. Intervention group (IG) patients received GBE (Symfona® forte 120 mg) twice-daily for 6 months while control group (CG) patients received placebo capsules. A 6-month open-label phase with identical GBE dosage followed. Gait was quantified at months 0, 3, 6 and 12.After 6 months, dual-task-related cadence increased in the IG compared to the CG (p = 0.019, d = 0.71). No significant changes, but GBE-associated numerical non-significant trends were found after 6-month treatment for dual-task-related gait velocity and stride time variability.Findings suggest that 120 mg of GBE twice-daily for at least 6 months may improve dual-task-related gait performance in patients with MCI.The observed gait improvements add to the understanding of the self-reported unspecified improvements among MCI patients when treated with standardised GBE.
Project description:Introduction:The striatum and frontal lobes have been shown to have early Alzheimer's disease (AD) neuropathology and are critical for motor and cognitive function. We hypothesized gait would be associated with early-stage dementia in Down syndrome (DS), a cohort at risk for AD. Methods:Twenty-eight participants with DS were enrolled in the study. Participants walked at their self-selected pace and while completing a dual task (counting, obstacle, or counting+obstacle). Results:All participants were able to complete the self-paced condition and 78.57-96.42% completed the dual-task conditions. There was a trend for greater dual-task effects on gait velocity based on dementia diagnosis. Gait velocity had stronger associations with clinical dementia assessments than age or diagnosis. Discussion:A dual-task gait paradigm is feasible to conduct with adults with DS and is associated with age and cognitive impairment. Dual-task gait may serve as an indicator of early stage dementia in DS.
Project description:BACKGROUND:With age, performance of motor tasks becomes more reliant on cognitive resources to compensate for the structural and functional declines in the motor control regions in the brain. We hypothesized that participants with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) are more prone to motor dysfunctions than cognitively normal older adults under dual-task conditions where competitive demands challenge cognitive functions while performing a motor task simultaneously. METHODS:Sixteen aMCI participants (females=9, age=64±5yrs, clinical dementia rating score=0.5) and 10 age- and education-matched cognitively normal adults (females=5, age=62±6yrs) participated. Using a 10-meter-walk test (10MW), gait velocity was recorded at baseline and under 4 different dual-task (DT) conditions designed to challenge working memory, executive function, and episodic memory. Specifically, DT1: verbal fluency; DT2: 5-digit backward span; DT3: serial-7 subtraction; and DT4: 3-item delayed recall. Physical function was measured by Timed Up-and-Go (TUG), simple reaction time (RT) to a free-falling yardstick, and functional reach (FR). RESULTS:No difference was found in physical functions, aerobic fitness, and exercise cardiopulmonary responses between aMCI participants and controls. However, aMCI participants showed more pronounced gait slowing from baseline when compared to the controls (p<0.05; p=0.001; p<0.001; p<0.001, respectively). CONCLUSIONS:Our finding supports the theory of shared resource of motor and cognitive control. Participants with aMCI manifested more gait slowing than cognitively-normal older adults under DT conditions, with the largest differences during tests of working and episodic memory. The outcome of dual-task assessment shows promise as a potential marker for detection of aMCI and early Alzheimer disease.
Project description:Poor executive functioning increases risk of decline in Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Executive functioning can be conceptualized within the framework of working memory. While some components are responsible for maintaining representations in working memory, the central executive is involved in the manipulation of information and creation of new representations. We aimed to examine the neural correlates of these components of working memory using a maintenance working memory and visuospatial reasoning task. Twenty-five patients with amnestic MCI and 19 elderly controls (EC) completed functional MRI during reasoning and maintenance working memory tasks. In MCI, maintenance working memory was associated with hypoactivation of right frontoparietal regions and hyperactivation of left prefrontal cortex, coupled with attenuation of default mode network (DMN) relative to EC. During reasoning, MCI showed hypoactivation of parietal regions, coupled with attenuation of anterior DMN and increased deactivation of posterior DMN relative to EC. Comparing the reasoning task to the maintenance working memory task yields the central executive. In MCI, the central executive showed hypoactivation of right parietal lobe and increased deactivation of posterior DMN compared to EC. Consistent with prior work on executive functioning, MCI show different neural circuitry during visuospatial reasoning, including changes to both task positive frontoparietal regions, as well as to deactivation patterns within the DMN. Both hyperactivation of task positive networks and increased deactivation of DMN may be compensatory.
Project description:Cognitive deficits are common in Parkinson's disease. Previous cross-sectional research has demonstrated a link between cognitive impairments and fronto-striatal dopaminergic dysmodulation. However, longitudinal studies that link disease progression with altered task-evoked brain activity are lacking. Therefore, our objective was to longitudinally evaluate working-memory related brain activity changes in Parkinson's disease patients with and without mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Patients were recruited within a longitudinal cohort study of incident patients with idiopathic parkinsonism. We longitudinally (at baseline examination and at 12-months follow-up) compared 28 patients with Parkinson's disease without MCI with 11 patients with Parkinson's disease and MCI. Functional MRI blood oxygen level dependent signal was measured during a verbal two-back working-memory task. Patients with MCI under-recruited bilateral medial prefrontal cortex at both time-points (main effect of group: p < 0.001, uncorrected). Critically, a significant group-by-time interaction effect (p < 0.001, uncorrected) was found in the right fusiform gyrus, indicating that working-memory related activity decreased for patients with Parkinson's disease and MCI between baseline and follow-up, while patients without MCI were stable across time-points. The functional connectivity between right fusiform gyrus and bilateral caudate nucleus was stronger for patients without MCI relative to patients with MCI. Our findings support the view that deficits in working-memory updating are related to persistent fronto-striatal under-recruitments in patients with early phase Parkinson's disease and MCI. The longitudinal evolution of MCI in Parkinson's disease translates into additional task-evoked posterior cortical changes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Gait analysis with accelerometers is a relatively inexpensive and easy to use method to potentially support clinical diagnoses of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. It is not clear, however, which gait features are most informative and how these measures relate to Alzheimer's disease pathology. OBJECTIVE:In this study, we tested if calculated features of gait 1) differ between cognitively normal subjects (CN), mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients, and dementia patients, 2) are correlated with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers related to Alzheimer's disease, and 3) predict cognitive decline. METHODS:Gait was measured using tri-axial accelerometers attached to the fifth lumbar vertebra (L5) in 58 CN, 58 MCI, and 26 dementia participants, while performing a walk and dual task. Ten gait features were calculated from the vertical L5 accelerations, following principal component analysis clustered in four domains, namely pace, rhythm, time variability, and length variability. Cognitive decline over time was measured using MMSE, and CSF biomarkers were available in a sub-group. RESULTS:Linear mixed models showed that dementia patients had lower pace scores than MCI patients and CN subjects (p?<?0.05). In addition, we found associations between the rhythm domain and CSF-tau, especially in the dual task. Gait was not associated with CSF A?42 levels and cognitive decline over time as measured with the MMSE. CONCLUSION:These findings suggest that gait - particularly measures related to pace and rhythm - are altered in dementia and have a direct link with measures of neurodegeneration.