What can gait tell us about dementia? Review of epidemiological and neuropsychological evidence.
Valkanova V., Ebmeier KP.
BACKGROUND: Cognitive impairment and gait disorders in people over the age of 65 represent major public health issues because of their high frequency, their link to poor outcomes and high costs. Research has demonstrated that these two geriatric syndromes are closely related. METHODS AND RESULTS: We aim to review the evidence supporting the relationship between gait and cognitive impairment, particularly focusing on epidemiological and neuropsychological studies in patients with Mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease and Vascular dementia. The review demonstrates that gait and cognition are closely related, but our knowledge of their interrelationship is limited. Emerging evidence shows that gait analysis has the potential to contribute to diagnosis and prognosis of cognitive impairment. CONCLUSIONS: An integrated approach for evaluating these major geriatric syndromes, based on their close relationship, will not only increase our understanding of cognitive-motor interactions, but most importantly may be used to aid early diagnosis, prognosis and the development of new interventions.