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The relationship between gait disorders and cognitive deterioration in the elderly

Author(s): Sibel Güler

Journal: Düşünen Adam : Journal of Psychiatry and Neurological Sciences
ISSN 1018-8681

Volume: 24;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 331;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Gait disorders | neurologic | aging | cognition disorders

Decrease in the function of the vestibulary, visual and proprioceptive systems which particularly take part in balancing the body during the aging process due to injuries resulting from gait disturbances and falls during this period. Those disorders are also a factor that negatively affect the quality of life and pyschosocial situation. The prevalence of gait disturbance increases with aging. These changes are closely associated with disability in the geriatric age group.The dividing line between normal and abnormal may be difficult to define in the elderly people’s gait. Though walking seems to be for us an automatized function, it needs a cortical support and high level mental functions. Several studies showed that walking speed could be lowered by both motor and cognitive tasks. It is reported that walking is particularly affected more by cognitive tasks rather than motor tasks in the elderly. The aim of this paper is to review the effect of gait disturbance, which is considerably complex, in the development of the neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia, in which cognitive functions are clearly affected, and in addition, the relationship between the physical activity and cognitive functions.
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