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Original Research Article

Free Access

The Role of Higher-Level Cognitive Function in Gait: Executive Dysfunction Contributes to Fall Risk in Alzheimer’s Disease

Sheridan P.L.a, b · Hausdorff J.M.b, c

Author affiliations

aBehavioral Neurology Division, Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and bDivision on Aging, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., USA; cMovement Disorders Unit, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center; Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel

Corresponding Author

Pamela Sheridan, MD, MMSc

Behavioral Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

330 Brookline Avenue

Boston, MA 02215 (USA)

Tel. +1 617 667 0483, Fax +1 617 667 7981, E-Mail psherida@caregroup.harvard.edu

Related Articles for ""

Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2007;24:125–137

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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is generally understood as primarily affecting cognition while sparing motor function, at least until the later stages of the disease. Studies reported over the past 10 years, however, have documented a prevalence of falls in AD patients significantly higher than in age-matched normal elders; also persons with AD have been observed to have different walking patterns with characteristics that increase gait instability. Recent work in cognitive neuroscience has begun to demonstrate the necessity of intact cognition, particularly executive function, for competent motor control. We put the pieces of this puzzle together and review the current state of knowledge about gait and cognition in general along with an exploration of the association between dementia, gait impairment and falls in AD. We also briefly examine the current treatment of gait instability in AD, mainly exercise, and propose a new approach targeting cognition.

© 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Research Article

Accepted: July 24, 2005
Published online: July 04, 2007
Issue release date: July 2007

Number of Print Pages: 13
Number of Figures: 2
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 1420-8008 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9824 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/DEM

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