Does the presence of cognitive impairment exacerbate the risk of falls in people with peripheral neuropathy? An application of body-worn inertial sensors to measure gait variability

Gu Eon Kang, Jacqueline Yang, Bijan Najafi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

People with peripheral neuropathy (PN) are at risk of falling. Many people with PN have comorbid cognitive impairment, an independent risk factor of falls, which may further increase the risk of falling in people with PN. However, the negative synergic effect of those factors is yet to be reported. We investigated whether the presence of cognitive impairment exacerbates the risk of falls in people with PN by measuring gait variability during single-task walking and dual-task walking. Forty-four adults with PN were recruited. Based on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) scores, 19 and 25 subjects were cognitively impaired and intact, respectively. We measured coefficients of variation of gait speed, stride length, and stride time using validated body-worn sensors. During single-task walking, no between-group differences were observed (all p > 0.05). During dual-task walking, between-group differences were significant for gait variability for gait speed and stride length (51.4% and 71.1%, respectively; p = 0.014 and 0.011, respectively). MoCA scores were significantly correlated with gait variability for gait speed (r = 0.319, p = 0.035) and stride length (r = 0.367, p = 0.014) during dual-task walking. Our findings suggest that the presence of cognitive impairment exacerbates the risk of falls in people with PN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1328
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Body-worn sensors
  • Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Diabetic peripheral neuropathy
  • Dual-task walking
  • Gait variability
  • Single-task walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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