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Rev Neurol (Paris). 2004 Jan;160(1):74-80.

Dual task effects of walking when talking in Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths University of London, UK.


Previous studies with Alzheimer Disease (AD) patients have suggested that speed and accuracy in walking can be dramatically affected by a simultaneous secondary cognitive task, such as holding a conversation. Two experiments examined the impact on AD patients and age matched elderly controls of cognitive demands while walking. In Experiment 1 walking for AD patients was more affected than it was for the normal elderly by a concurrent cognitive demand. Experiment 2 demonstrated that both groups were equally impaired under dual task conditions when the demands of the cognitive tasks were adjusted for individual levels of ability. We conclude that walking may draw on general executive resources, that walking relies more heavily on these executive resources in the elderly, and on a damaged executive system for AD patients.

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