The effects of dual-task cognitive interference on gait and turning in Huntington’s disease.

Publication date: Jul 12, 2019

Huntington’s disease (HD) is characterized by motor, cognitive, and psychiatric dysfunction. HD progression causes loss of automaticity, such that previously automatic tasks require greater attentional resources. Dual-task (DT) paradigms and fast-paced gait may stress the locomotor system, revealing deficits not seen under single-task (ST). However, the impact of gait “stress tests” on HD individuals needs further investigation. Therefore, the aims of this study were to investigate whether: 1) fast-paced and dual-task walking uncover deficits in gait and turning not seen under single-task, 2) cognitive and gait outcomes relate to fall incidence, and 3) gait deficits measured with wearable inertial sensors correlate with motor symptom severity in HD as measured by the Unified Huntington’s disease Rating Scale-total motor score (UHDRS-TMS). Seventeen HD (55 +/- 9.7 years) and 17 age-matched controls (56.5 +/- 9.3 years) underwent quantitative gait testing via a 25m, two-minute walk test with APDMTM inertial sensors. Gait was assessed under a 1) ST, self-selected pace, 2) fast-as-possible (FAP) pace, and 3) verbal fluency DT. The UHDRS-TMS and a cognitive test battery were administered, and a retrospective fall history was obtained. During ST, DT, and FAP conditions, HD participants demonstrated slower gait, shorter stride length, and greater lateral step and stride length variability compared to controls (p

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Purcell, N.L., Goldman, J.G., Ouyang, B., Liu, Y., Bernard, B., and O’Keefe, J.A. The effects of dual-task cognitive interference on gait and turning in Huntington’s disease. 06869. 2019 PLoS One (15):1.

Concepts Keywords
Automaticity Cognitive psychiatric dysfunction
Battery Terrestrial locomotion
Cognitive Horse gait
Gait Parkinsonian gait
Locomotor System


Type Source Name
disease MESH gait
drug DRUGBANK Tilmicosin
disease MESH Movement Disorders
disease MESH diagnosis
disease MESH cognitive impairment
drug DRUGBANK Isoxaflutole
drug DRUGBANK Abacavir
drug DRUGBANK Ketamine
drug DRUGBANK Pentaerythritol tetranitrate


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