Slowing gait speed precedes cognitive decline by several years

Tobias Skillbäck, Kaj Blennow, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Skoog, Lina Rydén, Hanna Wetterberg, Xinxin Guo, Simona Sacuiu, Michelle M. Mielke, Anna Zettergren, Ingmar Skoog, Silke Kern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: In this longitudinal study, we aimed to examine if slowing gait speed preceded cognitive decline and correlated with brain amyloidosis. Methods: The sample (n = 287) was derived from the Gothenburg H70 Birth Cohort Studies, with follow-ups between 2000 and 2015. Gait speed was measured by indoor walk, and cognition using the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) score. All participants had CDR = 0 at baseline. Some participants had data on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) amyloid beta (Aβ)1-42 concentrations at the 2009 examination. Results: Gait speed for participants who worsened in CDR score during follow-up was slower at most examinations. Baseline gait speed could significantly predict CDR change from baseline to follow-up. Subjects with pathological CSF Aβ1-42 concentrations at the 2009 visit had lost more gait speed compared to previous examinations. Discussion: Our results indicate that gait speed decline precedes cognitive decline, is linked to Alzheimer's pathology, and might be used for early detection of increased risk for dementia development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1667-1676
Number of pages10
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Aβ42
  • CSF
  • cognitive decline
  • gait
  • motor function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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