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Vol. 21. Num. 2.
Pages 77-152 (01 March 2017)
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Vol. 21. Num. 2.
Pages 77-152 (01 March 2017)
Original Research
DOI: 10.1016/j.bjpt.2017.03.010
Gait, dual task and history of falls in elderly with preserved cognition, mild cognitive impairment, and mild Alzheimer's disease
Juliana H. Ansaia,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author at: Departamento de Fisioterapia, Rodovia Washington Luiz, km 235, CEP 13565-905, São Carlos, SP, Brazil.
, Larissa P. Andradea, Paulo G. Rossia, Anielle C.M. Takahashia, Francisco A.C. Valeb, José R. Rebelattoa
a Departamento de Fisioterapia, Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar), São Carlos, SP, Brazil
b Departmento de Medicina, Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar), São Carlos, SP, Brazil

  • Dual tasks can be applicable to assess elderly with mild Alzheimer's disease.

  • Patients with preserved cognition and mild cognitive impairment presented with similar mobility.

  • Specific local and consequences of falls were identified for each cognitive group.

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Figures (1)
Tables (4)
Table 1. Sample characteristics for the sample of 3 test groups.
Table 2. Gait and dual task performance scores for subjects with preserved cognition, mild cognition impairment & mild Alzheimer's disease.
Table 3. History of falls in the last year between groups for subjects with preserved cognition, mild cognition impairment & mild Alzheimer's disease.
Table 4. Location of the latest fall among subjects who fell in the last year.
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Studies with functional and applicable methods and new cognitive demands involving executive function are needed to improve screening, prevention and rehabilitation of cognitive impairment and falls.


to identify differences in gait, dual task performances, and history of falls between elderly people with preserved cognition, mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer's disease.


A cross-sectional study was conducted. The sample consisted of 40 community-dwelling older adults with preserved cognition, 40 older adults with mild cognitive impairment, and 38 older adults with mild Alzheimer's disease. The assessment consisted of anamneses, gait (measured by the 10-meter walk test), dual task (measured by the Timed Up and Go Test associated with the motor-cognitive task of calling a phone number), and history of falls in the past year.


There were no differences among all groups for all variables. However, the Alzheimer's disease Group performed significantly worse in the dual task than the other groups. No item of dual task could distinguish people with preserved cognition from those with mild cognitive impairment. The groups with cognitive impairment included more fallers, and specific characteristics in history of falls between groups were identified.


Dual task could distinguish Alzheimer's disease patients specifically from other cognitive profiles.

Analysis of task performance


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