Effect of cognitive remediation on gait in sedentary seniors

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173 Scopus citations


Background. Attention and executive functions show strong associations with slow gait and falls in seniors and have been shown to be amenable to cognitive remediation. However, cognitive remediation as a strategy to improve mobility has not been investigated. Methods. Using a randomized single-blind control design, 24 sedentary older adults (exercise less than or equal to once weekly and gait velocity <1 m/s) were randomly assigned to an 8-week computerized cognitive remediation program or wait-list. Primary outcome was change in gait velocity during normal pace and "walking while talking" conditions. We also compared the proportion of improvers (velocity change ≥4 cm/s) in each group. Results. The 10 participants who completed cognitive remediation improved gait velocity from baseline during normal walking (68.2 ± 20.0 vs 76.5 ± 17.9 cm/s, p =. 05) and walking while talking (36.7 ± 13.5 vs 56.7 ± 20.4 cm/s, p =. 002). The 10 intervention participants improved gait velocity over the 8-week intervention both during normal walking (change: 8.2 ± 11.4-1.3 ± 6.8 cm/s, p =. 10) and walking while talking (change: 19.9 ± 14.9-2.5 ± 20.1 cm/s, p =. 05) compared with the 10 control participants. Six intervention participants were improvers on normal pace walking compared with three controls (odds ratio = 3.0, 95% confidence interval = 0.5-19.6). All 10 intervention participants improved on walking while talking compared with 3 controls (odds ratio = 3.5, 95% confidence interval = 1.5-8.0). Conclusions. The findings of this pilot trial are promising and suggest that cognitive remediation may improve mobility in sedentary seniors. This approach should be validated in larger scale trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1338-1343
Number of pages6
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Volume65 A
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Attention
  • Cognitive remediation
  • Gait velocity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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