Dual-task walking speed in older people with cognitive decline

Authors: I. Hereitová 1,2;  T. Votík 1;  T. Dorňák 2
Authors‘ workplace: Fakulta zdravotnických studií, Západočeská univerzita v Plzni 1;  Neurologická klinika LF UP a FN Olomouc 2
Published in: Cesk Slov Neurol N 2023; 86(4): 271-276
Category: Original Paper
doi: https://doi.org/10.48095/cccsnn2023271


Aim: The aim of the study was to analyze the effect of different dual task conditions on walking speed in older adults with cognitive decline and to compare this with a control group of cognitively intact subjects. Patients and methods: A total of 50 participants were included in this cross-sectional study (25 probands with cognitive decline according to the Montreal Cognitive Assessment [MoCA] ≤ 25 at a mean age of 69.6 ± 9.4 years; 25 cognitively intact probands with MoCA ≥ 26 at a mean age of 59.5 ± 7.0 years). To analyze the effect of single-task difficulty with the greatest interference, the dual-task effect (DTE) on walking speed was calculated in six random-order conditions assessed under comfortable walking speed, and at maximal walking speed in combination with the visual-verbal Stroop test and the motor task. Results: The dual-task cost (negative DTE) during the 10 Meter Walk Test (10MWT) combined with the visual-verbal Stroop test with prioritization to maximal walking speed was statistically significantly higher (P < 0.001) than the motor task-based slowing at comfortable and maximal speed according to the Wilcoxon paired test for the group of older people with cognitive decline. According to the Mann-Whitney test, the dual-task cost at maximum walking speed during the cognitive task was also shown to be significantly higher (P = 0.017) in older people with cognitive decline. Conclusion: Increased interference effects associated with reduced walking speed were most pronounced in situations with combined cognitive-motor load under divided attention effects. Thus, it may provide a new direction in the detection of older adults at a high risk of dementia for potential clinical use.


dementia – cognitive decline – walking speed


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Paediatric neurology Neurosurgery Neurology
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