Improving Mobility and Cognition in Older Adults Using Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation
Improving Mobility and Cognition in Older Adults: Establishment of an Interdisciplinary Clinical Research Program Using Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation
This study aims to test the efficacy of a type of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS),
known as repetitive transcranial magnetic (rTMS) stimulation, in improving mobility,
particularly gait stability and variability, and executive dysfunction in older adults. The
study will be conducted in forty older adults (≥60 years) with a diagnosis of executive
The proposed study using rTMS will build upon the investigators previous work demonstrating
the link between cognitive impairment, particularly executive dysfunction, and mobility/gait
abnormalities in older adults, even in those labeled as "cognitively normal". Emerging
evidence demonstrates that executive dysfunction is an early phenomenon in the pathway to
mobility disability and subtle changes in executive function are independently associated
with future falls. The investigators have piloted studies showing that pharmacological
enhancement of executive function, can improve gait-motor performance and, potentially,
reduce mobility decline and risk of falls. This supports the rationale for a promising
intervention: enhancing cognition to prevent mobility decline and reduce risk of falls. The
long-term goal is to create a clinical research program to apply rTMS as an early novel
intervention for cognitive/motor interaction to ultimately delay the onset of cognitive and
mobility disabilities and their devastating consequences, dementia and falls, in older
adults. However, it is first necessary to study a smaller group of seniors to plan for
recruitment, study retention and compliance, and to gather preliminary data as proof of
principle before proceeding to a larger clinical trial.
Executive Dysfunction, Gait Performance, Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Lawson Health Research Institute
Lawson Health Research Institute
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