Walking and cognitive function are interrelated, and thus normal control of gait is perturbed by cognitive impairment. Changes in gait, as measured by quantitative analysis, can be a useful mechanism for detecting early indicators of cognitive decline. Observing changes in gait in the dual-task paradigm, i.e. when the subject walks while performing an attention-demanding task, can be a more sensitive measure. In the study reported in this paper, we developed a mobile application to perform quantitative gait assessment in the single and dual-task condition, using a smartphone's built in sensor system. We show that the gait parameters, as measured by a mobile device, are significantly related to the corresponding parameters reported by a gold-standard motion capture system. We also demonstrate that this approach may be comparable to previously validated assessments of cognition and executive functioning. Mobile technologies offer a platform for sensitive assessment of changes in cognitive function through gait analysis in dual-task conditions. This methodology opens the way for more frequent assessments of cognition, as part of physiotherapy and rehabilitation practice.
Blumenthal, J., Wilkinson, A., Cheuk, R. T. F., Charoenkitkarn, P., Charoenkitkarn, N., & Chignell, M. (2017). Cognitive capacity and smartphone dual-task gait measurement. In Procedia Computer Science (Vol. 111, pp. 87–94). Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2017.06.014