Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 50 Number 5, 2013
   Pages 843 — 854

Abstract — Effects of cognitive task on gait initiation in Parkinson disease: Evidence of motor prioritization?

Joe R. Nocera, PhD;1* Ryan Roemmich;2 Jonathan Elrod;2 Lori J. P. Altmann, PhD;3 Chris J. Hass, PhD2

1Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Rehabilitation Research and Development Center of Excellence, Atlanta VA Medical Center, Decatur, GA; and Department of Neurology, Emory University, Decatur, GA; Departments of 2Applied Physiology and Kinesiology and 3Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Abstract — While much is known about the effects of dual tasking on cyclical and continuous motor performance (e.g., locomotion), there is a paucity of information on the effect of dual tasking on the initiation of movement. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a concurrent cognitive task on gait initiation in three groups: patients with Parkinson disease, healthy older adults, and healthy young adults. We examined the anticipatory postural adjustment displacements and velocities during single-task gait initiation as well as two dual-task conditions: (1) 0-back + gait initiation and (2) 2-back + gait initiation. The Parkinson disease group exhibited less anticipatory postural adjustment displacement and velocity than their aged-matched healthy peers and young adults during the single- and dual-task gait initiation settings (p < 0.05). Of interest was the finding of no additional effect on anticipatory postural adjustment displacement or velocity of gait initiation during the dual-task conditions in any group, including the Parkinson disease group. More traditionally studied gait/balance dual-task paradigms have demonstrated both motor and cognitive decline. Therefore, our results may suggest a prioritization of more "intentional" movement task (e.g., gait initiation) while dual tasking in Parkinson disease.

Key words: aging, cognition, dual task, gait initiation, locomotion, n-back, neurological disease, Parkinson disease, physical function, prioritization.

View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 50, No. 5
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Nocera JR, Roemmich R, Elrod J, Altmann LJ, Hass CJ. Effects of cognitive task on gait initiation in Parkinson disease: Evidence of motor prioritization? J Rehabil Res Dev. 2013;50(5):699–708.

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