Motor phenotype of decline in cognitive performance among community-dwellers without dementia: population-based study and meta-analysis.PLoS One 2014; 9(6):e99318Plos
Decline in cognitive performance is associated with gait deterioration. Our objectives were: 1) to determine, from an original study in older community-dwellers without diagnosis of dementia, which gait parameters, among slower gait speed, higher stride time variability (STV) and Timed Up & Go test (TUG) delta time, were most strongly associated with lower performance in two cognitive domains (i.e., episodic memory and executive function); and 2) to quantitatively synthesize, with a systematic review and meta-analysis, the association between gait performance and cognitive decline (i.e., mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia).
Based on a cross-sectional design, 934 older community-dwellers without dementia (mean±standard deviation, 70.3±4.9years; 52.1% female) were recruited. A score at 5 on the Short Mini-Mental State Examination defined low episodic memory performance. Low executive performance was defined by clock-drawing test errors. STV and gait speed were measured using GAITRite system. TUG delta time was calculated as the difference between the times needed to perform and to imagine the TUG. Then, a systematic Medline search was conducted in November 2013 using the Medical Subject Heading terms "Delirium," "Dementia," "Amnestic," "Cognitive disorders" combined with "Gait" OR "Gait disorders, Neurologic" and "Variability."
A total of 294 (31.5%) participants presented decline in cognitive performance. Higher STV, higher TUG delta time, and slower gait speed were associated with decline in episodic memory and executive performances (all P-values <0.001). The highest magnitude of association was found for higher STV (effect size = -0.74 [95% Confidence Interval (CI): -1.05;-0.43], among participants combining of decline in episodic memory and in executive performances). Meta-analysis underscored that higher STV represented a gait biomarker in patients with MCI (effect size = 0.48 [95% CI: 0.30;0.65]) and dementia (effect size = 1.06 [95% CI: 0.40;1.72]).
Higher STV appears to be a motor phenotype of cognitive decline.