Association between Gait, Cognition, and Gray Matter Volumes in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Healthy Controls

Elena Cosentino, Katie Palmer, Camilla Della Pietà, Micaela Mitolo, Francesca Meneghello, Giorgio Levedianos, Vincenzo Iaia, Annalena Venneri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: To assess the correlation between cognitive functioning and 3 gait parameters (gait speed, cadence, and stride length) in persons with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and cognitively healthy controls and investigate linear correlations between gait and gray matter volumes. Materials and Methods: Participants were recruited at IRCCS San Camillo Hospital, Venice, Italy (MCI=43; age-matched controls=43). Participants underwent comprehensive neuropsychological assessment. Gait speed, cadence, and stride length, were assessed with the BTS FREEMG 300 device. Three-dimensional (3D) T1-weighted MR images were acquired using a 1.5 T Philips Achieva MRI system with a Turbo Field Echo sequence. Results: In MCI there was a positive correlation between gait speed and memory tests (P<0.05). In controls all 3 gait parameters correlated with executive functioning (P<0.01). Temporal and limbic areas (ie, superior temporal gyrus, thalamus and parahippocampal gyrus) were associated with gait parameters in MCI whereas in controls the associations were with frontal areas (ie, middle, inferior, and superior frontal gyrus) and in the cerebellum (anterior and posterior lobe). Conclusions: Our results highlight a distinct pattern of association between gray matter volume and gait parameters in MCI patients and controls (temporal areas in MCI and frontal areas in healthy elderly), suggesting a relationship between dementia-related pathology and gait dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAlzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020


  • cadence
  • cognitive functioning
  • dementia
  • gait speed
  • MCI
  • memory
  • stride length

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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