Lap time variation and executive function in older adults: The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging

Qu Tian, Eleanor Marie Simonsick, Susan M. Resnick, Michelle D. Shardell, Luigi Ferrucci, Stephanie A. Studenski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: poor cognitive and motor performance predicts neurological dysfunction. Variable performance may be a subclinical indicator of emerging neurological problems. Objective: examine the cross-sectional association between a clinically accessible measure of variable walking and executive function. Methods: older adults aged 60 or older from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (n = 811) with data on the 400-m walk test and cognition. Based on ten 40-m laps, we calculated mean lap time (MLT) and variation in time across ten 40-m laps (lap time variation, LTV). Executive function tests assessed attention and short-term memory (digit span forward and backward), psychomotor speed [Trail Making Test (TMT) part A] and multicomponent tasks requiring cognitive flexibility [TMT part B, part B-A (Delta TMT) and digit symbol substitution test (DSST)]. Multivariate linear regression analysis examined the cross-sectional association between LTV and executive function, adjusted for MLT, age, sex and education, as well as the LTV × MLT interaction. Results: the LTV was univariately associated with all executive function tests except digit span (P <0.001); after adjustment, the association with TMT part A remained (standardised β = 0.142, P = 0.002). There was an interaction between MLT and LTV; among fast walkers, greater LTV was associated with a greater Delta TMT (β for LTV × MLT = -1.121, P = 0.016) after adjustment. Conclusion: at any walking speed, greater LTV is associated with psychomotor slowing. Among persons with faster walking speed, variation is associated with worse performance on a complex measure of cognitive flexibility. A simple measure of variability in walking time is independently associated with psychomotor slowing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberafv076
Pages (from-to)796-800
Number of pages5
JournalAge and Ageing
Volume44
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Baltimore
Executive Function
Longitudinal Studies
Trail Making Test
Social Adjustment
Walking
Walkers
Sex Education
Short-Term Memory

Keywords

  • Cognitive flexibility
  • Lap time variation
  • Older people
  • Psychomotor speed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this

Tian, Q., Simonsick, E. M., Resnick, S. M., Shardell, M. D., Ferrucci, L., & Studenski, S. A. (2015). Lap time variation and executive function in older adults: The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Age and Ageing, 44(5), 796-800. [afv076]. https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afv076

Lap time variation and executive function in older adults : The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. / Tian, Qu; Simonsick, Eleanor Marie; Resnick, Susan M.; Shardell, Michelle D.; Ferrucci, Luigi; Studenski, Stephanie A.

In: Age and Ageing, Vol. 44, No. 5, afv076, 01.09.2015, p. 796-800.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tian, Q, Simonsick, EM, Resnick, SM, Shardell, MD, Ferrucci, L & Studenski, SA 2015, 'Lap time variation and executive function in older adults: The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging', Age and Ageing, vol. 44, no. 5, afv076, pp. 796-800. https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afv076
Tian, Qu ; Simonsick, Eleanor Marie ; Resnick, Susan M. ; Shardell, Michelle D. ; Ferrucci, Luigi ; Studenski, Stephanie A. / Lap time variation and executive function in older adults : The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. In: Age and Ageing. 2015 ; Vol. 44, No. 5. pp. 796-800.
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abstract = "Background: poor cognitive and motor performance predicts neurological dysfunction. Variable performance may be a subclinical indicator of emerging neurological problems. Objective: examine the cross-sectional association between a clinically accessible measure of variable walking and executive function. Methods: older adults aged 60 or older from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (n = 811) with data on the 400-m walk test and cognition. Based on ten 40-m laps, we calculated mean lap time (MLT) and variation in time across ten 40-m laps (lap time variation, LTV). Executive function tests assessed attention and short-term memory (digit span forward and backward), psychomotor speed [Trail Making Test (TMT) part A] and multicomponent tasks requiring cognitive flexibility [TMT part B, part B-A (Delta TMT) and digit symbol substitution test (DSST)]. Multivariate linear regression analysis examined the cross-sectional association between LTV and executive function, adjusted for MLT, age, sex and education, as well as the LTV × MLT interaction. Results: the LTV was univariately associated with all executive function tests except digit span (P <0.001); after adjustment, the association with TMT part A remained (standardised β = 0.142, P = 0.002). There was an interaction between MLT and LTV; among fast walkers, greater LTV was associated with a greater Delta TMT (β for LTV × MLT = -1.121, P = 0.016) after adjustment. Conclusion: at any walking speed, greater LTV is associated with psychomotor slowing. Among persons with faster walking speed, variation is associated with worse performance on a complex measure of cognitive flexibility. A simple measure of variability in walking time is independently associated with psychomotor slowing.",
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