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Can Geriatr J. 2018 Jun 30;21(2):157-165. doi: 10.5770/cgj.21.298. eCollection 2018 Jun.

Guidelines for Gait Assessments in the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA).

Author information

Gait and Brain Lab, Parkwood Institute, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON, Canada.
Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Department of Medicine (Geriatrics) and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada.
Department of Medicine, Montreal Heart Institute and Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada.
The Sun Life Financial Movement Disorders Research and Rehabilitation Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON, Canada.
Faculty of Health Sciences, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.
Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Physiotherapy, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada.
Department of Psychology, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada.
Aging, Mobility, and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, Department of Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Faculty of Kinesiology and Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada.
Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada.
Department of Medicine, Divisions of Geriatrics and Experimental Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada.
Rehabilitation Department, Université Laval, and Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration, Quebec, QC, Canada.
Department of Medicine, Division of Neurology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.



Motor and cognitive impairments are common among older adults and often co-exist, increasing their risk of dementia, falls, and fractures. Gait performance is an accepted indicator of global health and it has been proposed as a valid motor marker to detect older adults at risk of developing mobility and cognitive declines including future falls and incident dementia. Our goal was to provide a gait assessment protocol to be used for clinical and research purposes.


Based on a consensus that identified common evaluations to assess motor-cognitive interactions in community-dwelling older individuals, a protocol on how to evaluate gait in older adults for the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) was developed.


The CCNA gait assessment includes preferred and fast pace gait, and dual-task gait that comprises walking while performing three cognitively demanding tasks: counting backwards by ones, counting backwards by sevens, and naming animals. This gait protocol can be implemented using an electronic-walkway, as well as by using a regular stopwatch. The latter approach provides a simple manner to evaluate quantitative gait performance in clinics.


Establishing a standardized gait assessment protocol will help to assess motor-cognitive interactions in aging and neurodegeneration, to compare results across studies, and to feasibly implement and translate gait testing in clinics for detecting impending cognitive and mobility decline.


aging; cognition; consensus; gait; neurodegenerative diseases

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICT OF INTEREST DISCLOSURES The authors declare that no conflicts of interest exist.

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