Changes in executive function and gait in people with mild cognitive impairment and alzheimer disease

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Changes in executive function and motor aspects can compromise the prognosis of older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and favor the evolution to dementia. Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the changes in executive function and gait and to determine the association between changes in these variables. Methods: A 32-month longitudinal study was conducted with 40 volunteers: 19 with preserved cognition (PrC), 15 with MCI and 6 with Alzheimer disease (AD). Executive function and gait speed were assessed using the Frontal Assessment Battery, the Clock-Drawing test and the 10-meter walk test. For data analysis, the Pearson product-moment correlation, two-way repeated-measures ANOVA, and chi-square were conducted. Results: After 32 months, an improvement in the executive function was found in all groups (p=0.003). At baseline, gait speed was slower in individuals with MCI and AD compared to those with PrC (p=0.044), that was maintained after the follow-up (p=0.001). There was significant increase in number of steps in all groups (p=0.001). No significant association was found between changes in gait speed and executive function. Conclusion: It should be taken into account that gait deteriorates prior to executive function to plan interventions and health strategies for this population.




De Castro Cezar, N. O., Ansai, J. H., De Oliveira, M. P. B., Da Silva, D. C. P., Vale, F. A. C., De Medeiros Takahashi, A. C., & De Andrade, L. P. (2021). Changes in executive function and gait in people with mild cognitive impairment and alzheimer disease. Dementia e Neuropsychologia, 15(1), 60–68.

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