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

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Abstract

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.

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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. https://doi.org/10.1590/1980-57642021dn15-010006

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