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Gait disturbances are some of the earliest changes in dementia and their monitoring presents an opportunity for early diagnosis. The exact relationship between gait and well-established biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease (AD) remains to be clarified. In this study we compared gait-related measures with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) markers of AD pathology. We recruited seventeen participants with mild AD in a multi-site study and performed gait assessment as well as lumbar punctures to obtain CSF. CSF Aβ42/Aβ40 and Aβ42/Aβ38 correlated positively with measures of variability (step time and step length) in the clinic-based assessments. This was driven by a negative relationship between gait variability and Aβ40 and Aβ38 but not Aβ42.The amyloid ratios and gait variability measures were also associated with more severe functional impairment. We interpret these data as an indication that increasing amyloid production (i.e., increasing Aβ40 and Aβ38) is associated with diminishing cognitive-motor control of gait. These preliminary results suggest that the two amyloid ratios may be a marker of the earliest disturbances in the interplay between cognitive and motor control which characterize dementia.

Original publication




Journal article


J Alzheimers Dis

Publication Date





1377 - 1383


Alzheimer’s disease, amyloid, biomarkers, cerebrospinal fluid proteins, gait, Activities of Daily Living, Aged, Alzheimer Disease, Amyloid beta-Peptides, Female, Gait Disorders, Neurologic, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Peptide Fragments, Pilot Projects, United Kingdom