Association of gait and balance disorders with age-related white matter changes

Baezner H, Blahak C, Poggesi A, Pantoni L, Inzitari D, Chabriat H, Erkinjuntti T, Fazekas F, Ferro J, Langhorne P, O'Brien J, Scheltens P, Visser M, Wahlund O, Waldemar G, Wallin A, Hennerici G,

This study aimed to assess the role of age-related white matter changes (ARWMC) and the relationship between this and disability in the elderly, particularly focusing on the impact ARWMC has on gait and balance.

MRIs were used to assess the extent of ARWMC in 639 participants. Gait and balance was assessed with the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB).

Results showed a strong correlation between severity of white matter changes and severity of gait and balance problems. Further research is required to assess the effect rehabilitation can have to minimise the effects of ARWMC.

Neurology, 2008, 70, 935-942

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