Guidelines for Gait Assessments in the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA)

Stephanie Cullen, Manuel Montero-Odasso, Louis Bherer, Quincy Almeida, Sarah Fraser, Susan Muir-Hunter, Karen Li, Teresa Liu-Ambrose, Chris A. McGibbon, William McIlroy, Laura Middleton, Yanina Sarquis-Adamson, Olivier Beauchet, Bradford J. McFadyen, José A. Morais, Richard Camicioli, The Canadian Gait and Cognition Network

Abstract


Background

Motor and cognitive impairments are common among older adults and often co-exist, increasing their risk of dementia, falls, and fractures. Gait performance is an accepted indicator of global health and it has been proposed as a valid motor marker to detect older adults at risk of developing mobility and cognitive declines including future falls and incident dementia. Our goal was to provide a gait assessment protocol to be used for clinical and research purposes.

Methods

Based on a consensus that identified common evaluations to assess motor–cognitive interactions in community-dwelling older individuals, a protocol on how to evaluate gait in older adults for the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) was developed.

Results

The CCNA gait assessment includes preferred and fast pace gait, and dual-task gait that comprises walking while performing three cognitively demanding tasks: counting backwards by ones, counting
backwards by sevens, and naming animals. This gait protocol can be implemented using an electronic-walkway, as well as by using a regular stopwatch. The latter approach provides a simple manner to evaluate quantitative gait performance in clinics.

Conclusions

Establishing a standardized gait assessment protocol will help to assess motor–cognitive interactions in aging and neurodegeneration, to compare results across studies, and to feasibly implement and translate gait testing in clinics for detecting impending cognitive and mobility decline.


Keywords


consensus; gait; cognition; aging; neurodegenerative diseases

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5770/cgj.21.298

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ISSN: 1925-8348 (Online)