The influence of diabetes on multisensory integration and mobility in aging

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2 Scopus citations


(1) Background: one out of every four adults over the age of 65 are living with diabetes, and this alarming rate continues to increase with age. Diabetes in older adults is associated with many adverse health outcomes, including sensory and motor impairments. The objective of this exploratory study was to determine whether diabetes influences the interplay between multisensory integration processes and mobility in aging. (2) Methods: in this cross-sectional observational study, we recruited 339 non-demented older adults (76.59 ± 6.21 years; 52% female, 18% with diabetes). Participants completed a simple reaction time test in response to visual, somatosensory, and combined visual-somatosensory stimulation. Magnitude of visual-somatosensory integration was computed and served as the independent variable. (3) Results: logistic regression revealed that presence of diabetes was inversely associated with the magnitude of visual-somatosensory integration (β = −3.21; p < 0.01). Further, mediation models revealed that presence of diabetes negatively influenced the relationship of visual–somatosensory integration magnitude with balance (95% CI −0.16, −0.01) and gait (95% CI −0.09, −0.01). Participants with diabetes and taking insulin (n = 14) failed to integrate sensory information entirely; (4) conclusions: taken together, results from this exploration provide compelling evidence to support the adverse effect of diabetes on both multisensory and motor functioning in older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number285
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Aging
  • Mobility
  • Multisensory integration
  • Sensorimotor integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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