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Sirinun Boripuntakul and Somporn Sungkarat

The objective of this study was to examine the association between cognitive ability and gait initiation performance in older adults. Global and specific cognitive functions and spatiotemporal gait parameters during gait initiation were assessed in 60 older adults. Multivariate linear regression was conducted to determine the association between cognitive functions and gait initiation parameters. Results showed that global cognitive function was not associated with any of the spatiotemporal parameters. Poorer performance on measures of executive function and language ability were associated with shorter step length, narrower step width, and longer step time. In addition, poorer performance on test of visuospatial ability was associated with longer step time. In conclusion, specific but not global cognitive functions were associated with gait initiation performance. Clinical gait examination should incorporate gait initiation and cognitive assessments. Rehabilitation strategies aimed at improving cognition and gait initiation performance may be beneficial for preventing falls.

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Vipul Lugade, Janeesata Kuntapun, Paphawee Prupetkaew, Sirinun Boripuntakul, Eric Verner, and Patima Silsupadol

Conventional one-time gait analyses do not evaluate walking across more than a few steps, cannot monitor changes longitudinally, and do not reflect performance in real-life environments. To successfully quantify age-related gait decrement, technology that can continuously monitor gait is vital. This study examined the feasibility and validity for participant smartphones to remotely assess gait. In addition, the authors investigated whether smartphone-derived measures could differentiate between young and older adults (fallers and nonfallers). A total of 63 adults completed clinical and gait assessment in the laboratory and donned their smartphones for 3 days in the real-life environment. A custom-built Android application collected triaxial accelerations with spatiotemporal gait measures computed and compared between groups. Across 11 brands and 10 Android versions, smartphone-derived gait parameters were valid. Furthermore, results indicated age-related differences in walking during the 3-day assessment. However, no disparities were found between older adult groups. Smartphone-based evaluations may improve real-life screening of adults with gait deficits.