Unplanned Stopping Strategy in Individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment



Individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) demonstrate changes in cognitive and gait functions. Gait termination requires higher cognitive integration compared to steady-state walking due to the increased stability needed during a transient period. It is possible that the capability to terminate gait in older adults with MCI would be compromised. Therefore, this study aimed to compare gait termination parameters between older adults with MCI and without MCI. Gait termination parameters (i.e., the number of steps taken to stop, total stopping distance, and total stopping time) were assessed in 30 older adults with MCI and in 30 cognitively intact controls. The Mann-Whitney U test revealed that the MCI group required more steps to stop compared to the control group (MCI group = 2.02 ± 0.40 steps; control group = 1.91 ± 0.36 steps, p = 0.05). These findings suggest that older adults with MCI adopt a more conservative strategy by employing additional steps for terminating gait. Poor executive function may affect gait termination performance in older adults with MCI.


Mild Cognitive Impairment, gait termination, unplanned stopping, gait impairment, executive function

Full Text:



LM Allan, CG Ballard, EN Rowan and RA Kenny. Incidence and prediction of falls in dementia: A prospective study in older people. PLos One 2009; 4, e5521.

SW Muir, K Gopaul and MM Odasso. The role of cognitive impairment in fall risk among older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Age. Ageing 2012; 41, 299-308.

T Herman, A Mirelman, N Giladi, A Schweiger and M Hausdorff. Executive control deficits as a prodrome to falls in healthy older adults: A prospective study linking thinking, walking, and falling. J. Gerontol. A Biol. Sci. Med. Sci. 2010; 65, 1086-92.

T Buracchio, HH Dodge, D Howieson, D Wasserman and J Kaye. The trajectory of gait speed preceding mild cognitive impairment. Arch. Neurol. 2010; 67, 980-6.

RC Petersen. Mild Cognitive Impairment as a diagnostic entity. J. Intern. Med. 2004; 256, 183-94.

J Verghese, M Robbins, R Holtzer, M Zimmerman, C Wang, X Xue and RB Lipton. Gait dysfunction in mild cognitive impairment syndromes. J. Am. Geriatr. Soc. 2008; 56, 1244-51.

D Maquet, F Lekeu, E Warzee, S Gillain, V Wojtasik, E Salmon, J Petermans and JL Croisier. Gait analysis in elderly adult patients with mild cognitive impairment and patients with mild Alzheimer's disease: Simple versus dual task: A preliminary report. Clin. Physiol. Funct. Imag. 2010; 30, 51-6.

PC Fletcher and JP Hirdes. Risk factors for falling among community-based seniors using home care services. J. Gerontol. A Biol. Sci. Med. Sci. 2002; 57, M504-M510.

JM Hausdorff, G Yogev, S Springer, ES Simon and N Giladi. Walking is more like catching than tapping: Gait in the elderly as a complex cognitive task. Exp. Brain. Res. 2005; 164, 541-8.

G Yogev-Seligmann, JM Hausdorff and N Giladi. The role of executive function and attention in gait. Mov. Disord. 2008; 23, 329-42.

MJ Ashley, CI Gryfe and A Amies. A longitudinal study of falls in an elderly population II. Some circumstances of falling. Age. Ageing 1977; 6, 211-20.

RJ Jaeger and P Vanitchatchavan. Ground reaction forces during termination of human gait. J. Biomech. 1992; 25, 1233-6.

P Vanitchatchavanl and JR Jaeger. Timing patterns of foot-floor contact during termination of human gait. IEEE Eng. Med. Biol. Soc. 1991; 13, 2013-4.

O Tirosh and WA Sparrow. Gait termination in young and older adults: Effects of stopping stimulus probability and stimulus delay. Gait Posture 2004; 19, 243-51.

C Cao, JA Ashton-Miller, AB Schultz and NB Alexander. Effects of age, available response time and gender on ability to stop suddenly when walking. Gait Posture 1998; 8, 103-9.

TY Liu-Ambrose, MC Ashe, P Graf, BL Beattie and KM Khan. Increased risk of falling in older community-dwelling women with mild cognitive impairment. Phys. Ther. 2008; 88, 1482-91.

Train The Brain Forum Committee. Thai geriatric depression scale-TGDS. Siriraj Hosp. Gaz. 1994; 46, 1-9.

JM Hausdorff, Z Ladin and JY Wei. Footswitch system for measurement of the temporal parameters of gait. J. Biomech. 1995; 28, 347-51.

M Tinetti, D Richman and L Powell. Falls efficacy as a measure of fear of falling. J. Gerontol. 1990; 45, 239.

A Shumway-Cook, S Brauer and M Woollacott. Predicting the probability for falls in community-dwelling older adults using the Timed Up & Go Test. Phys. Ther. 2000; 80, 896-903.

DM Quinlan and TE Brown. Assessment of short-term verbal memory impairments in adolescents and adults with ADHD. J. Atten. Dis. 2003; 6, 143-52.

F Ostrosky-Solis and A Lozano. Digit Span: Effect of education and culture. Int. J. Psychol. 2006; 41, 333-41.

DC Delis, E Kaplan and JH Kramer. Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS). Examiner's Manual. San Antonio, 2001.

D Wechsler. Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) III: Administration and Scoring Manual. Vol III. San Antonio, 1997.

KB Kortte, MD Horner and WK Windham. The trail making test, Part B: Cognitive flexibility or ability to maintain set? Appl. Neuropsychol. 2002; 9, 106-9.

JC Menant, JR Steele, HB Menz, BJ Munro and SR Lord. Rapid gait termination: Effects of age, walking surfaces and footwear characteristics. Gait Posture 2009; 30, 65-70.

MR Meier, J Desrosiers, P Bourassa and J Blaszczyk. Effect of type II diabetic peripheral neuropathy on gait termination in the elderly. Diabetologia 2001; 44, 585-92.

AR Oate, AE Patla, JS Frank and MA Greig. Control of dynamic stability during gait termination on a slippery surface. J. Neurophysiol. 2005; 93, 64-70.

Y Jian, DA Winter, MG Ishac and L Gilchrist. Trajectory of the body COG and COP during initiation and termination of gait. Gait Posture 1993; 1, 9-22.

Y Laufer. Effect of age on characteristics of forward and backward gait at preferred and accelerated walking speed. J. Gerontol. A Biol. Sci. Med. Sci. 2005; 60, 627-32.

N Giladi, T Herman, II Reider-Groswasser, T Gurevich and J Hausdorff. Clinical characteristics of elderly patients with a cautious gait of unknown origin. J. Neurol. 2005; 252, 300-6.

T Bhatt, JD Wening and YC Pai. Influence of gait speed on stability: Recovery from anterior slips and compensatory stepping. Gait Posture 2005; 21, 146-56.

S Belleville, B Gilbert, F Fontaine, L Gagnon, E Menard and S Gauthier. Improvement of episodic memory in persons with Mild cognitive impairment and healthy older adults: Evidence from a cognitive intervention program. Dement. Geriatr. Cogn. Disord. 2006; 22, 486-99.

D Maquet, F Lekeu, E Warzee, S Gillain, V Wojtasik, E Salmon, J Petermans and JL Croiser. Gait analysis in elderly adult patients with mild cognitive impairment and patients with mild Alzheimer's disease: Simple versus dual task: A preliminary report. Clin. Physiol. Funct. Imag. 2010; 30, 51-6.

M Montero-Odasso, H Bergman, N Phillips, C Wong, N Sourial and H Chertkow. Dual-tasking and gait in people with mild cognitive impairment: The effect of working memory. BMC Geriatr. 2009; 9, 41-8.

R Elliott. Executive functions and their disorders. Br. Med. Bull. 2003; 65, 49-59.

JM Sattler and JJ Ryan. Assessment with the WAIS-IV. California, 2009.

MM Mielke, RO Roberts, R Savica, R Cha, DI Drubach, T Chriatianson and VS Pankratz. Assessing the temporal relationship between cognition and gait: Slow gait predicts cognitive decline in the Mayo Clinic study of ageing. J. Gerontol. 2013; 68, 929-37.


  • There are currently no refbacks.


Online ISSN: 2228-835X


Last updated: 20 June 2019