Gait Variability in Community Dwelling Adults With Alzheimer Disease Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Studies have shown that measures of gait variability are associated with falling in older adults. However, few studies have measured gait variability in people with Alzheimer disease, despite the high incidence of falls in Alzheimer disease. The purpose of this study was to compare gait variability of community-dwelling older adults with Alzheimer disease and control subjects at various walking speeds. Ten subjects with mild-moderate Alzheimer disease and ten matched control subjects underwent gait analysis using an electronic walkway. Participants were required to walk at self-selected slow, preferred, and fast speeds. Stride length and step width variability were determined using the coefficient of variation. Results showed that stride length variability was significantly greater in the Alzheimer disease group compared with the control group at all speeds. In both groups, increases in walking speed were significantly correlated with decreases in stride length variability. Step width variability was significantly reduced in the Alzheimer disease group compared with the control group at slow speed only. In conclusion, there is an increase in stride length variability in Alzheimer disease at all walking speeds that may contribute to the increased incidence of falls in Alzheimer disease.

publication date

  • January 2006