Research Paper Volume 10, Issue 1 pp 144—153
Predictors of gait speed and its change over three years in community-dwelling older people
- 1 Department of Neurology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, 8036, Austria
- 2 Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH8 9YL, UK
- 3 Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH8 9YL, UK
- 4 Brain Research Imaging Centre, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH4 2XU, UK
- 5 Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH4 2XU, UK
- 6 Department of Psychology, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
- 7 Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH8 9YL, UK
- 8 Division of Neuroradiology, Vascular and Interventional Neuroradiology, Department of Radiology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, 8036, Austria
- 9 UK Dementia Research Institute at the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH8 9YL, UK
Received: November 17, 2017 Accepted: January 16, 2017 Published: January 20, 2018https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.101365
How to Cite
Copyright: Pinter et al. This is an open‐access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
We aimed to assess whether and how changes in brain volume and increases in white matter hyperintensity (WMH) volume over three years predict gait speed and its change independently of demographics, vascular risk factors and physical status. We analyzed 443 individuals from the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936, at mean age 73 and 76 years. Gait speed at age 76 was predicted by age, grip strength and body mass index at mean age 73, three-year brain volume decrease and WMH volume increase, explaining 26.1% of variance. Decline in gait speed to age 76 was predicted by the same five variables explaining 40.9% of variance. In both analyses, grip strength and body mass index explained the most variance. A clinically significant decline in gait speed (≥ 0.1 m/s per year) occurred in 24.4%. These individuals had more structural brain changes. Brain volume and WMH changes were independent predictors of gait dysfunction and its three-year change, but the impact of malleable physical factors such as grip strength or body mass index was greater.