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Association Between Timed Up-and-Go and Memory, Executive Function, and Processing Speed


  • Paper was submitted to Joint World Congress of International Society of Posture and Gait Research and Gait and Mental Function conference, Trondheim, Norway, June 24–28, 2012 and British Geriatric Society conference, Harrowgate, UK, November 28–30, 2012 (partial data).

Address correspondence to Orna A. Donoghue, The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing, Lincoln Gate, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland.



To determine which cognitive tests are independently associated with performance on the Timed Up-and-Go Test (TUG).


Data were obtained from Wave 1 of The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), a population-based study assessing health, economic, and social aspects of aging.


Community-dwelling adults completed a home based interview and a health center–based assessment.


TILDA participants aged 50 and older with a Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score of 10 or greater (N = 4,998).


Participants completed a battery of cognitive assessments including the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), Color Trails Test, word and letter fluency, choice reaction time, sustained attention, prospective memory, word recall, and picture memory. Linear regression was used to determine univariate and multivariate associations between TUG and each cognitive test.


Slower TUG time was associated with poorer performance on all cognitive tests in univariate analysis (P < .05). In multivariate analysis, poorer performance on the MoCA, letter fluency, Color Trail 1, cognitive reaction time, mean sustained attention response time, and prospective memory were independently associated with slower TUG time (P < .05).


Slower TUG time is independently associated with poorer performance on global cognition, executive function, and memory tests and slower processing speed. This highlights that TUG is more than just a simple mobility task and suggests that a comprehensive cognitive assessment is important for individuals with mobility difficulties.