Introduction: The striatum and frontal lobes have been shown to have early Alzheimer's disease (AD) neuropathology and are critical for motor and cognitive function. We hypothesized gait would be associated with early-stage dementia in Down syndrome (DS), a cohort at risk for AD.

Methods: Twenty-eight participants with DS were enrolled in the study. Participants walked at their self-selected pace and while completing a dual task (counting, obstacle, or counting+obstacle).

Results: All participants were able to complete the self-paced condition and 78.57-96.42% completed the dual-task conditions. There was a trend for greater dual-task effects on gait velocity based on dementia diagnosis. Gait velocity had stronger associations with clinical dementia assessments than age or diagnosis.

Discussion: A dual-task gait paradigm is feasible to conduct with adults with DS and is associated with age and cognitive impairment. Dual-task gait may serve as an indicator of early stage dementia in DS.

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Notes/Citation Information

Published in Alzheimer's & Dementia, v. 12, issue 1, e12092.

© 2020 The Authors

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.

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This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01‐HD064993‐09S1, T32 AG057461).

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