Cognitive processes related to gait velocity: results from the Einstein Aging Study

Neuropsychology. 2006 Mar;20(2):215-23. doi: 10.1037/0894-4105.20.2.215.


The authors examined the relationship between cognition and gait velocity, performed with and without interference, in elderly participants. Neuropsychological test scores from 186 cognitively normal elders were submitted to factor analysis that yielded 3 factors: Verbal IQ, Speed/Executive Attention, and Memory. Regression analyses revealed that these factors were significant predictors of variance in gait velocity, but the relationship varied as a function of task condition. All 3 factors predicted gait velocity without interference. However, the Speed/Executive Attention and Memory factors but not Verbal IQ predicted gait velocity in the interference condition. These findings suggest that gait velocity and cognitive function may have both shared and independent brain substrates. Future studies should explore gait velocity and cognitive function as predictors of dementia and falls.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attention / physiology
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Humans
  • Intelligence / physiology
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Neurologic Examination / methods
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Problem Solving / physiology
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Verbal Learning / physiology