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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2017 Nov;73:50-59. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2017.07.013. Epub 2017 Jul 27.

The interacting effects of treadmill walking and different types of visuospatial cognitive task: Discriminating dual task and age effects.

Author information

1
College of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Manitoba, Canada. Electronic address: mayur5522@gmail.com.
2
College of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Manitoba, Canada. Electronic address: tony.szturm@umanitoba.ca.
3
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Manitoba, Canada. Electronic address: Jonathan.Marotta@umanitoba.ca.
4
College of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Manitoba, Canada. Electronic address: Barbara.Shay@umanitoba.ca.
5
Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Sir Mortimer B. Davis - Jewish General Hospital and Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Electronic address: olivier.beauchet@mcgill.ca.
6
Department of Neurology, Geneva University Hospital and University of Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address: Gilles.Allali@hcuge.ch.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of this study is to examine the influence that visuospatial cognitive tasks have on gait function during DT treadmill walking, and as a function of age. Conversely, to examine the influence that walking has on executive functions involving visuospatial processing.

METHODS:

Twenty-five young (26±6.1years) and 25 older adults (76±3.9) performed different types of computerized visuomotor (VM) tracking and visuospatial cognitive tasks (VCG) while standing and treadmill walking. Spatiotemporal gait variables, average values and co-efficient of variation (COV) were obtained from 40 consecutive steps during single- and dual-task walk trials. Performance-based measures of the VM and VCG task were obtained during standing and walking.

RESULTS:

VM dual-task walking had a significant effect on gait measures in the young age group (YG), but no DT effect was observed in the old age group (OG). Visuomotor tracking performance, however, was significantly reduced in the OG as compared to the YG when tested in both standing and walking. The opposite was true for VCG; a significant DT effect on gait performance was observed in the OG, but no DT effect was observed in the YG. Success rate of the VCG task decreased during walking, but only for OG.

CONCLUSION:

Controlling gait speed and objective evaluation of the visuospatial cognitive tasks helps to determine the level of engagement in the DT tasks. This is important in order to determine the strategies used during the DT test protocols, i.e. cross-domain interference.

KEYWORDS:

Aging; Computerized assessment; Dual-task; Executive functions; Treadmill walking; Visuospatial processing

PMID:
28778023
DOI:
10.1016/j.archger.2017.07.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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