New balance capability index as a screening tool for mild cognitive impairment

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Background: Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is not just a prodrome to dementia, but a very important intervention point to prevent dementia caused by Alzheimer's disease (AD). It has long been known that people with AD have a higher frequency of falls with some gait instability. Recent evidence suggests that vestibular impairment is disproportionately prevalent among individuals with MCI and dementia due to AD. Therefore, we hypothesized that the measurement of balance capability is helpful to identify individuals with MCI. Methods: First, we developed a useful method to evaluate balance capability as well as vestibular function using Nintendo Wii balance board as a stabilometer and foam rubber on it. Then, 49 healthy volunteers aged from 56 to 75 with no clinically apparent cognitive impairment were recruited and the association between their balance capability and cognitive function was examined. Cognitive functions were assessed by MoCA, MMSE, CDR, and TMT-A and -B tests. Results: The new balance capability indicator, termed visual dependency index of postural stability (VPS), was highly associated with cognitive impairment assessed by MoCA, and the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was more than 0.8, demonstrating high sensitivity and specificity (app. 80% and 60%, respectively). Conclusions: Early evidence suggests that VPS measured using Nintendo Wii balance board as a stabilometer helps identify individuals with MCI at an early and preclinical stage with high sensitivity, establishing a useful method to screen MCI.




Suzuki, Y., Tsubaki, T., Nakaya, K., Kondo, G., Takeuchi, Y., Aita, Y., … Yahagi, N. (2023). New balance capability index as a screening tool for mild cognitive impairment. BMC Geriatrics, 23(1).

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