Date: 16 Jun 2013

Relationship of Gait and Cognition in the Elderly

Abstract

Gait and cognitive impairments in older adults mostly reflect the co-occurrence of two geriatric syndromes linked by common underlying brain substrates and pathologies. Gait control is predominately mediated by frontal subcortical circuits, which overlap with circuits controlling executive control and attention functions. These circuits are vulnerable to multiple age-related pathologies such as ischemia, inflammation, and neurodegeneration, which could ultimately cause cognitive, gait, or combined cognitive and gait impairments. The following review aims to describe various gait and cognitive classifications, gait based phenotypes, common underlying pathological processes, and provide a link between motor and cognitive impairments in an effort to predict the risk of dementia and remediate impairments by applying appropriate interventions.