Spatial and Temporal Gait Variability as Potential Markers for Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease
Kai Leong
Killarney Secondary
Floor Location : S 003 H

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) afflicts an estimated 564,000 people in Canada—one in 9 Canadians over the age of 65—and accounts for approximately $10.4 billion in direct healthcare costs each year. Current treatments, despite being less than ideal, have been shown to slow progression in some AD patients. Moreover, early identification and treatment of AD has shown to be imperative in positive treatment outcomes and improving quality of life.

The aim of this study was to investigate the connection between gait and Alzheimer's in a sample of Alzheimer's disease patients and a group of matched cognitively healthy older adult controls submitted to single task and dual-task gait conditions. 25 older adults volunteered to participate in this study. Measures of stride length and time variability, quadriceps angle and cadence were taken from subjects using a feasible and accessible smartphone based gait analysis system. With only 3 clinical gait labs in all of Northern and Western Canada, a smartphone-based gait analysis system could offer insights about gait at the click of a button making gait analysis accessible in practically any environment.

Statistically significant differences in gait parameters between the control group and Alzheimer’s disease group were observed during dual-task gait. Thus, our evidence that dual-task conditions significantly affect Alzheimer’s patients with respect to healthy subjects suggests that there is a connection between Alzheimer’s disease and gait. These results may offer rationale for the use of gait parameters as a screening tool for early Alzheimer’s disease.