BACKGROUND: Gait is thought to have a cognitive component, but the current evidence in healthy elderly is mixed. We studied the association between multiple gait and cognitive measures in a cohort of older people. METHODS: One hundred and seventy-eight cognitively healthy participants from the Whitehall II Imaging Sub-study had a detailed clinical and neuropsychological assessment, as well as an MRI scan. Spatiotemporal and variability gait measures were derived from two 10 m walks at self-selected speed. We did a linear regression analysis, entering potential confounders with backwards elimination of variables with p ≥ 0.1. The remaining variables were then entered into a second regression before doing a stepwise analysis of cognitive measures, entering variables with p 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: No strong relationship between gait and non-motor cognition was observed in a cognitively healthy, high functioning sample of elderly. Nevertheless, we found some relationships with spatial, but not temporal gait which warrant further investigation. WMH made no independent contributionto gait.
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Cognition, Gait, Healthy elderly, Older adults, Walking, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Cognition, Cohort Studies, Female, Gait, Gait Analysis, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Neuropsychological Tests, Prospective Studies, Spatio-Temporal Analysis, Walking, Walking Speed