OBJECTIVES: To conduct a systematic clinical and quantitative assessment of gait in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) syndromes.
SETTING: Einstein Aging Study, a community-based longitudinal aging study.
PARTICIPANTS: Fifty-four individuals with amnestic MCI (a-MCI), 62 with nonamnestic-MCI (na-MCI), and 295 healthy controls identified from the Einstein Aging Study participants.
MEASUREMENTS: Comparison of clinical and quantitative gait performance in subjects with MCI subtypes with that of cognitively normal older adults.
RESULTS: Neurological gaits were more common in a-MCI (31.5%, P=.008) but not in na-MCI (19.4%, P=.55), than in controls (16.3%). Quantitative gait in multiple parameters was worse in both MCI subtypes than in controls. Factor analysis revealed three independent factors representing pace, rhythm, and variability. Subjects with a-MCI had worse rhythm and variability scores than those with na-MCI and controls. Subjects with na-MCI had worse performance on the pace domain than the other two groups. Subjects with MCI and gait abnormalities had higher disability scores than subjects with MCI without gait abnormalities.
CONCLUSION: Gait dysfunction is common in older individuals with amnestic and nonamnestic subtypes of MCI.