A common cognitive profile in elderly fallers and in patients with Parkinson's disease: The prominence of impaired executive function and attention

Jeffrey M. Hausdorff, Glen M. Doniger, Shmuel Springer, Galit Yogev, Nir Giladi, Ely S. Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present study examined the cognitive profile of elderly fallers relative to healthy elderly controls and patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), a positive-control group, using a computerized battery. Fallers performed more poorly than controls on executive function, attention, and motor skills, but performed comparably on memory, information processing and the Mini-Mental State Examination. A similar profile was evident for PD patients. However, unlike PD patients, fallers were abnormally inconsistent in their reaction times. These findings indicate that elderly fallers may have a unique cognitive processing deficit (i.e., variability of response timing) and underscore the importance of executive function and attention as potential targets for fall risk screening and interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-429
Number of pages19
JournalExperimental Aging Research
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2006

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