Lower extremity motor function and disability in mild cognitive impairment

Exp Aging Res. 2007 Jul-Sep;33(3):355-71. doi: 10.1080/03610730701319210.


Recent findings suggest that lower extremity motor dysfunction may be a feature of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), but little is known about the nature and significance of lower extremity motor dysfunction in MCI. The aim of this study was to examine the extent to which MCI is associated with impaired gait, balance, and strength and to examine the relation of lower extremity function to disability among persons with MCI in the Rush Memory and Aging Project, a clinical-pathologic study of common chronic conditions of old age. In a series of analyses adjusted for age, sex, and education, individuals with MCI exhibited more impaired gait and balance than individuals without cognitive impairment. Because vascular factors can contribute to lower extremity motor dysfunction, the authors repeated the initial analyses including terms for vascular risk factors and vascular disease, and the associations between MCI and lower extremity motor dysfunction persisted. Moreover, among those with MCI, impairments in gait and balance were associated with an increased likelihood of disability. These findings suggest that lower extremity motor dysfunction is common and contributes to disability in MCI, but lower extremity motor dysfunction in MCI does not appear to be explained by the vascular factors examined in this study.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / classification
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / psychology
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Dementia, Vascular / diagnosis*
  • Dementia, Vascular / psychology
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Gait*
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction*
  • Lower Extremity*
  • Male
  • Mental Status Schedule
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength*
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / psychology
  • Postural Balance*
  • Statistics as Topic