Aging is associated with a reduction in several functions including gait. The preservation of gait is important in order to prevent falls and consequent injury as one gets older. Poorer gait may also be an important marker for health status and a determinant of quality of life in later life. It is now recognized that specific regions of the brain such as the frontal motor, prefrontal and parietal cortices, the basal ganglia and cerebellum play an important role in the initiation, planning, execution and maintenance of gait, in tandem with other neuromuscular factors. Aging and age-related disease may affect areas of the brain that are involved in the regulation of gait. Recent technological advances in brain imaging have enabled the identification of age-related changes occurring in the brain, such as cortical atrophy, brain infarctions or cerebral white matter lesions. There is a small, but growing, amount of research examining the association between these changes and gait. The objective of this review is to summarize the current state of knowledge on the impact of the aging brain on gait, and to identify directions for future research. Such research may lead to the development of interventions aimed at preventing or reducing the effect of brain aging on gait.
|Pages (from-to)||123 - 131|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|