Neural signature of mobility-related everyday function in older adults at-risk of cognitive impairment

Pierfilippo De-Sanctis, Johanna Wagner, Sophie Molholm, John J. Foxe, Helena M. Blumen, Douwe J. Horsthuis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Assessment of everyday activities is central to the diagnosis of dementia. Yet, little is known about brain processes associated with everyday functional limitations, particularly during early stages of cognitive decline. Twenty-six older adults (mean = 74.9 y) were stratified by risk using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment battery (MoCA, range: 0– 30) to classify individuals as higher (22–26) and lower risk (27+) of cognitive impairment. We investigated everyday function using a gait task designed to destabilize posture and applied Mobile Brain/Body Imaging. We predicted that participants would increase step width to gain stability, yet the underlying neural signatures would be different for lower versus higher risk individuals. Step width and fronto-parietal activation increased during visually perturbed input. Frontomedial theta increased in higher risk individuals during perturbed and unperturbed inputs. Left sensorimotor beta decreased in lower risk individuals during visually perturbed input. Modulations in theta and beta power were associated with MoCA scores. Our findings suggest that older adults at-risk of cognitive impairment can be characterized by a unique neural signature of everyday function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Cognitive impairment
  • EEG
  • Everyday function
  • Mobility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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