Table_1_Assessing a Sensory-Motor-Cognition Triad in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment With Dichotic Listening While Walking: A Dual-Task Paradigm.docx (21.15 kB)
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Table_1_Assessing a Sensory-Motor-Cognition Triad in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment With Dichotic Listening While Walking: A Dual-Task Paradigm.docx

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posted on 12.11.2021, 04:41 authored by Marta Maria Gorecka, Olena Vasylenko, Knut Waterloo, Claudia Rodríguez-Aranda

A contemporary topic in aging research relates to the significance of cognitive changes proper to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to higher risk of falls and gait deteriorations. The present study addresses this question in the amnestic type of MCI (aMCI) by examining a triad of interrelated comorbidities occurring in the MCI condition: attentional impairments, hearing loss and gait disturbances. To this end, we applied a dichotic listening (DL) test during over-ground walking. DL assesses spontaneous and lateralized auditory attention in three conditions (i.e., free report or Non-forced (NF), Forced-Right (FR) ear and Forced-Left (FL) ear). Earlier reports suggest that this dual-task paradigm evoke asymmetric gait effects on healthy controls, which are moderated by degree of hearing loss. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of DL on bilateral (data from both limbs) and lateralized (each limb separately) gait outcomes in a group of forty-three aMCI participants (mean = 71.19) and fifty-two healthy older controls (mean = 70.90) by using hearing loss as a covariate in all analyses. Results showed the aMCI group presented overall compromised gait parameters, especially higher gait variability in all DL conditions during lateralized attentional control. These findings were observed bilaterally, and no lateralized effects on gait were observed. Only after controlling for hearing acuity, gait asymmetries on step length variability emerged almost exclusively in healthy controls. It was concluded that hearing loss in the aMCI group together with higher attentional impairments preclude aMCI individuals to properly execute DL and therefore, they do not display gait asymmetries. The present data demonstrate that varied demands on attentional control dependent on hearing acuity affects gait negatively in healthy older adults and aMCI individuals in very different ways. The appearance of asymmetric effects seems to be a perturbation related to normal aging, while the lack of asymmetries but exaggerated gait variability characterizes aMCI. The present findings show the intricate interplay of sensory, cognitive, and motor deteriorations in different group of older adults, which stresses the need of addressing co-occurring comorbidities behind gait perturbations in individuals prone to develop a dementia state.

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