Adaptive Walking in Alzheimer's Disease

Orcioli-Silva, Diego; Simieli, Lucas; Barbieri, Fabio Augusto; Stella, Florindo; Bucken Gobbi, Lilian Teresa
January 2012
International Journal of Alzheimer's Disease;2012, p1
Academic Journal
The aim of this study is to analyze dual-task effects on free and adaptive gait in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. Nineteen elders with AD participated in the study. A veteran neuropsychiatrist established the degree of AD in the sample. To determine dual-task effects on free and adaptive gait, patients performed five trials for each experimental condition: free and adaptive gait with and without a dual-task (regressive countdown). Spatial and temporal parameters were collected through an optoelectronic tridimensional system. The central stride was analyzed in free gait, and the steps immediately before (approaching phase) and during the obstacle crossing were analyzed in adaptive gait. Results indicated that AD patients walked more slowly during adaptive gait and free gait , using conservative strategies when confronted either with an obstacle or a secondary task. Furthermore, patients sought for stability to perform the tasks, particularly for adaptive gait with dual task, who used anticipatory and online adjustments to perform the task. Therefore, the increase of task complexity enhances cognitive load and risk of falls for AD patients.


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