Cognition and gait appear to be closely related. The chronological interplay between cognitive decline and gait dysfunction is not fully understood. The aim of the present prospective study is investigating whether the dysfunction of specific gait parameters, during specific task and medication conditions, may predict subsequent cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease (PD). We evaluated cognition and gait in 39 Parkinsonian patients at an initial assessment and after 3 years. Cognitive performance was evaluated with a neuropsychological battery designed to assess memory, executive/attention, and visuospatial domains. Gait was investigated using a gait analysis system during both the off and on states in the following conditions: (1) normal gait; (2) motor dual task; and (3) cognitive dual task. We used regression models to determine whether gait predicts subsequent cognitive dysfunction. Overall, the cognitive test scores were stable over time with the exception of the executive/attention scores, whereas all gait parameters declined. The step length during the cognitive dual task during the on state at the initial evaluation was the only significant predictor of executive/attention domain dysfunction at follow up. The results were confirmed when executive/attention dysfunction at the initial assessment evaluation was included in the regression model as a covariate. Our longitudinal study offers additional insight into the progression of gait dysfunction, and its chronological relationship with cognitive dysfunction in PD patients. In particular, the present study indicates that step length during a cognitive task when on medication is an independent predictor of future executive/attention decline.

Step length predicts executive dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease: a 3-year prospective study

Rucco, Rosaria;Lista, Ilaria;Varriale, Pasquale;Vitale, Carmine;Sorrentino, Giuseppe;
2018-01-01

Abstract

Cognition and gait appear to be closely related. The chronological interplay between cognitive decline and gait dysfunction is not fully understood. The aim of the present prospective study is investigating whether the dysfunction of specific gait parameters, during specific task and medication conditions, may predict subsequent cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease (PD). We evaluated cognition and gait in 39 Parkinsonian patients at an initial assessment and after 3 years. Cognitive performance was evaluated with a neuropsychological battery designed to assess memory, executive/attention, and visuospatial domains. Gait was investigated using a gait analysis system during both the off and on states in the following conditions: (1) normal gait; (2) motor dual task; and (3) cognitive dual task. We used regression models to determine whether gait predicts subsequent cognitive dysfunction. Overall, the cognitive test scores were stable over time with the exception of the executive/attention scores, whereas all gait parameters declined. The step length during the cognitive dual task during the on state at the initial evaluation was the only significant predictor of executive/attention domain dysfunction at follow up. The results were confirmed when executive/attention dysfunction at the initial assessment evaluation was included in the regression model as a covariate. Our longitudinal study offers additional insight into the progression of gait dysfunction, and its chronological relationship with cognitive dysfunction in PD patients. In particular, the present study indicates that step length during a cognitive task when on medication is an independent predictor of future executive/attention decline.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11367/69537
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