Vol. 15 nº 1 - Jan/Feb/Mar de 2021
Original Article Páginas: 105 a 111

Cross-sectional associations between cognition and mobility in Parkinson's disease

Authors Nariana Mattos Figueiredo Sousa1,2; Roberta Correa Macedo1; Sonia Maria Dozzi Brucki2


keywords: Parkinson's disease, gait, cognitive impairment, balance, executive functions.

Cross-sectional studies show an association of decline in mental flexibility and inhibitory control with reduced gait speed and falls, as well as divided attention deficit and difficulty in initiating gait.
OBJECTIVE:To investigate the relationships between cognitive function and gait performance in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) who participated in a hospital neurorehabilitation program.
METHODS: A total of 107 patients (79 males, 28 females; mean age 61.00±8.2 years; mean schooling 11.7±4.1 years) with idiopathic PD (mean disease duration 5.5±4.1 years) were recruited for this study. Among them, 78.50% were in stages I and II of the Hoehn & Yahr Scale. Cognitive functions were evaluated through the Digit Span test, Trail Making Test, and Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination III. Motor function was assessed with the 10-Meter Walk Test, the short version of the Balance Evaluation Systems Test (Mini-BESTest), and the Timed Up and Go Test.
RESULTS: Balance skills were significantly correlated with global cognition and specific domains, including divided attention, verbal fluency, and visuospatial function. Functional mobility showed a significant association with all cognitive tests, except for the number of errors on TMT-A. Gait speed presented a significant correlation with global cognition scores, memory, and attention, including divided attention.
CONCLUSION: These findings might help early identification of cognitive deficits or motor dysfunctions in PD patients who may benefit from rehabilitation strategies, as well as facilitate fall risk assessments and strategies to prevent falls. Future prospective studies are needed to investigate the effects of cognitive training on motor performance, since the difficulty in motor rehabilitation may be more related to cognitive loss than to motor damage.


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