Use of a dual task paradigm to examine the effects of age on mobility and cognitive performances
The increase in the aging population has become one of the most important problems of our society in last few decades. As people grow older, they are at risk of falling and consequent injuries due to the effects of aging. A fall may be the first indication of an undetected illness related to the effects of aging. This study demonstrates the effects of aging on balance, spatio-temporal gait parameters, gaze stability, and cognitive skills under single task conditions and during dual-tasks conditions. In the present study, we included following three groups: Group 1: 30 young healthy adults (aged 20 ± 3 years); Group 2: 30 adults (aged 61.4 ± 4.4 years); Group 3: 30 older adults (aged 75 ± 4.5 years). A computer game based rehabilitation platform has been developed and was used for the single and dual task performance in standing and during treadmill walking. We observed that there was a significant age effect while dual tasking on standing balance, spatial and temporal gait parameters, gaze performance, and cognitive task performance. To conclude, this study shows a vast decline in walking and standing balance and ability to divide attention during dual tasking between the age groups 55-70 years and 71- 85 years and compares both these age groups with the more normative, healthy, young and athletic, 20-30 years old population.
Aging, Dual Task