Assessing the temporal relationship between cognition and gait: Slow gait predicts cognitive decline in the mayo clinic study of aging

Michelle M. Mielke, Rosebud O. Roberts, Rodolfo Savica, Ruth Cha, Dina I. Drubach, Teresa Christianson, Vernon S. Pankratz, Yonas E. Geda, Mary M. Machulda, Robert J. Ivnik, David S. Knopman, Bradley F. Boeve, Walter A. Rocca, Ronald C. Petersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background.The association between gait speed and cognition has been reported; however, there is limited knowledge about the temporal associations between gait slowing and cognitive decline among cognitively normal individuals.Methods.The Mayo Clinic Study of Aging is a population-based study of Olmsted County, Minnesota, United States, residents aged 70-89 years. This analysis included 1,478 cognitively normal participants who were evaluated every 15 months with a nurse visit, neurologic evaluation, and neuropsychological testing. The neuropsychological battery used nine tests to compute domain-specific (memory, language, executive function, and visuospatial skills) and global cognitive z-scores. Timed gait speed (m/s) was assessed over 25 feet (7.6 meters) at a usual pace. Using mixed models, we examined baseline gait speed (continuous and in quartiles) as a predictor of cognitive decline and baseline cognition as a predictor of gait speed changes controlling for demographics and medical conditions.Results.Cross-sectionally, faster gait speed was associated with better performance in memory, executive function, and global cognition. Both cognitive scores and gait speed declined over time. A faster gait speed at baseline was associated with less cognitive decline across all domain-specific and global scores. These results were slightly attenuated after excluding persons with incident mild cognitive impairment or dementia. By contrast, baseline cognition was not associated with changes in gait speed.Conclusions.Our study suggests that slow gait precedes cognitive decline. Gait speed may be useful as a reliable, easily attainable, and noninvasive risk factor for cognitive decline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)929-937
Number of pages9
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Volume68
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Cohort study
  • Gait speed
  • Longitudinal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Medicine(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing the temporal relationship between cognition and gait: Slow gait predicts cognitive decline in the mayo clinic study of aging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this