Joshua Gills1, Spencer Smith1, Jordan M. Glenn1,2, Erica N. Madero2, Nick T. Bott2, Jennifer Vincenzo3, Michelle Gray1 1Exercise Science Research Center; University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR.,2Neurotrack Technologies, Inc., Redwood City, CA., 3Department of Physical Therapy; University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Fayetteville, AR.

Alzheimer’s disease currently affects 5.8 million people in the US and the number is projected to triple by 2050. As the baby boomer population ages, it is important to identify measures that correlate with cognitive decline. Measures that show a relationship with cognitive decline can serve as early indicators that a person is in need of a cognitive evaluation. PURPOSE: The purpose of this evaluation was to determine if functional fitness tasks could accurately discriminate between older adults with and without mild cognitive impairment. METHODS: Adults 60+ years participated in the present investigation (n= 103). Each participant completed demographic questionnaires; completed two stationary cognitive tasks: Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) and visual paired comparison (VPC); and completed four functional cognitive assessments: dual-task maximal speed (DTMS), dual-task habitual speed (DTHS), sit-to-stand power, timed up and go test (TUG). Participants with MoCA scores >23were classified as cognitively intact (CIN), whereas participants with MoCA scores <23were classified as cognitively impaired (CIM). A one-way ANOVA determined if there were significant differences between groups for each cognitive task. RESULTS: Eighty CIN and twenty-three CIM subjects completed all assessments. The CIN group had higher scores on the VPC task (p= .02),while exhibiting faster times to complete DTMS (p< .001), DTHS (p= .002), and TUG (p= .02)compared to the CIM group. No significant differences were found between the cognitive groups in sit-to-stand power variables: peak power (p= .08), average power (p= .07), and average velocity (p= .08). CONCLUSION: Functional fitness assessments distinguished between CIN and CIM groups. As these results indicate, functional fitness may be an indicator of cognitive status. Future investigations should longitudinally track both functional fitness and cognitive function to further elucidate this relationship.

This document is currently not available here.