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Regional associations of cortical thickness with gait variability - The Tasmanian Study of Cognition and Gait


Jayakody, O and Breslin, M and Beare, R and Blumen, HM and Srikanth, VK and Callisaya, ML, Regional associations of cortical thickness with gait variability - The Tasmanian Study of Cognition and Gait, Journals of Gerontology. Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 75, (8) pp. 1537-1544. ISSN 1079-5006 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America.

DOI: doi:10.1093/gerona/glaa118


Background: Gait variability is a marker of cognitive decline. However, there is limited understanding of the cortical regions associated with gait variability. We examined associations between regional cortical thickness and gait variability in a population-based sample of older people without dementia.

Method: Participants (n = 350, mean age 71.9 7.1) were randomly selected from the electoral roll. Variability in step time, step length, step width, and double support time (DST) were calculated as the standard deviation of each measure, obtained from the GAITRite walkway. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were processed through FreeSurfer to obtain cortical thickness of 68 regions. Bayesian regression was used to determine regional associations of mean cortical thickness and thickness ratio (regional thickness/overall mean thickness) with gait variability.

Results: Smaller global cortical thickness was only associated with greater step width and step time variability. Smaller mean thickness in widespread regions important for sensory, cognitive, and motor functions were associated with greater step width and step time variability. In contrast, smaller thickness in a few frontal and temporal regions were associated with DST variability and the right cuneus was associated with step length variability. Smaller thickness ratio in frontal and temporal regions important for motor planning, execution, and sensory function and greater thickness ratio in the anterior cingulate was associated with greater variability in all measures.

Conclusions: Examining individual cortical regions is important in understanding the relationship between gray matter and gait variability. Cortical thickness ratio highlights that smaller regional thickness relative to global thickness may be important for the consistency of gait.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:gait speed, overall mean cortical thickness, population-based, regional cortical thickness, regional thickness ratio
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Geriatrics and gerontology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Jayakody, O (Ms Shanika Jayakody Arachchige Dona)
UTAS Author:Breslin, M (Dr Monique Breslin)
UTAS Author:Callisaya, ML (Dr Michele Callisaya)
ID Code:139970
Year Published:2020
Funding Support:National Health and Medical Research Council (1135761)
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2020-07-21
Last Modified:2021-03-26

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