Journal Article

Association between gait and cognition in an elderly population based sample


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. 178 cognitively healthy participants from the Whitehall II Imaging Sub-study had a detailed clinical and neuropsychological assessment, as well as a MRI scan. Spatiotemporal and variability gait measures were derived from two 10m 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 and removing those with p≥0.1. Results. Amongst absolute gait measures, only greater stride length was associated with better performance in the TMT A and the BNT. The STV was associated with performance in the TMT A. Age was associated with poorer walking speed and stride time, female sex with shorter strides and stride time, as well as shorter doubles stance. Length of full-time education was associated with faster walking speed and shorter stride time, and a history of muscular-skeletal disease with slower walking speed, shorter stride length and longer stride time. Interestingly, volume of WMH in FLAIR MRI images did not contribute independently to any of the gait variables. Conclusions. No strong relationship between gait and non-motor cognition was observed in a cognitively healthy, high functioning sample of elderly. Nevertheless we find some relationships with spatial, but not temporal gait which warrant further investigation. WMH made no independent contribution to gait.

Attached files


Valkanova, Vyara
Esser, Patrick
Demnitz, Naiara
Sexton, Claire E.
Zsoldos, Enik?
Mahmood, Abda
Griffanti, Ludovica
Kivimäki, Mika
Singh-Manoux, Archana
Dawes, Helen
Ebmeier, Klaus P.

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work


Year of publication: 2018
Date of RADAR deposit: 2018-07-30

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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