EFFECTS OF COMPUTERIZED COGNITIVE TRAINING ON GAIT SPEED IN COMMUNITY DWELLING OLDER ADULTS, A PILOT STUDY
J. Blackwood, T. Houston
J Prev Alz Dis 2016;3(3):145-150
Background: In older adults declines in gait speed have been identified as predictors of functional decline and have been found in those with cognitive dysfunction. Cognitive training interventions that emphasize addressing executive function (EF) have resulted in a transfer effect from training cognitive processes into improved function. However research examining the effects of an EF specific computerized cognitive training (CCT) program on gait speed (GS) is limited.
Objectives: To compare the effects of a six week EF specific CCT program on GS in community dwelling older adults using a pretest/posttest experimental design with subgroup comparisons based on a cutoff GS of 1.0m/s.
Setting: Home based
Participants: Forty independent living older adults (>65 years) without diagnosed cognitive impairment participated in either the intervention or control groups.
Intervention: A six week long progressively challenging EF focused CCT program was performed at home.
Measurements: Demographic variables, cognitive function (Trail-Making Test Part B) and GS were measured at baseline at week 7. Between group comparisons were completed for the whole sample initially with subgroup comparisons performed based on participants’ initial GS (Slow walkers: GS<1.0m/s; Fast Walkers: GS>1.0m/s).
Results: No differences in GS were found for the whole population, but subgroup analyses restricted to slow walkers demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in GS after 6 weeks of CCT (µ =0.33 m/s, p = 0.03). Other outcomes measures were not statistically different at posttest.
Conclusions: Older adults who walk at speeds <1.0m/s may benefit from a progressively challenging CCT program when self-administered in the home.
J. Blackwood ; T. Houston (2016): Effects of Computerized Cognitive Training on Gait Speed in Community Dwelling Older Adults, A Pilot Study. The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease (JPAD). http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/jpad.2016.102