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Enhanced gait variability index and cognitive performance in Asian adults: Results from the Yishun Study.
Background: Although gait variability has been linked to cognitive decline among older adults, the lack of a comprehensive composite gait variability score has dampened the application of gait variability. Research question: Does the enhanced gait variability index (EGVI) - a composite score gait variability index - provide differential and useful information on cognitive decline in community-dwelling adults from that using gait speed? Methods: Healthy community-dwelling adults (n = 311) aged 21–90 were individually administered the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS). Habitual gait speed and spatiotemporal parameters were measured using a 6 m instrumented walkway system. The EGVI for each participant was calculated from five spatiotemporal parameters - step length(cm), step time(s), stance time(s), single support time(s) and stride velocity(cm/s). Linear regression models, controlling for age, gender, and education, were built to examine the independent effects of EGVI or gait speed on global cognition and individual domains. Results: Multiple regression revealed that gait speed contributed significantly to the performance of the domain “Attention” (p = 0.04) whereas EGVI contributed significantly for the performance of the domain “Visuospatial” (p = 0.04) and “Delayed Memory” (p = 0.02). Significance: EGVI provides differential and useful information from using gait speed alone. The EGVI may offer a solution to measure or track GV changes in relation to cognitive changes.