The Association of Specific Executive Functions and Falls Risk in People with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Early-Stage Dementia

Veronika van der Wardt, Philippa Logan, Victoria Hood, Victoria Booth, Tahir Masud, Rowan Harwood
Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders 2015, 40 (3-4): 178-85

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Impairment in executive function is associated with a heightened risk for falls in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia. The purpose of this study was to determine which aspects of executive function are associated with falls risk.

METHODS: Forty-two participants with a mean age of 81.6 years and a diagnosis of MCI or mild dementia completed five different executive function tests from the computerised CANTAB test battery and a comprehensive falls risk assessment.

RESULTS: A hierarchical regression analysis showed that falls risk was significantly associated with spatial memory abilities and inhibition of a pre-potent response.

CONCLUSION: The concept of executive function may be too general to provide meaningful results in a research or clinical context, which should focus on spatial memory and inhibition of a pre-potent response.

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