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Functional Gait Can Be Affected by Noise: Effects of Age and Cognitive Function: A Pilot Study

Buyle, M; Azoidou, V; Pavlou, M; Van Rompaey, V; Bamiou, D-E; (2021) Functional Gait Can Be Affected by Noise: Effects of Age and Cognitive Function: A Pilot Study. Frontiers in Neurology , 12 , Article 634395. 10.3389/fneur.2021.634395. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: The ageing process may degrade an individual's balance control, hearing capacity, and cognitive function. Older adults perform worse on simultaneously executed balance and secondary tasks (i.e., dual-task performance) than younger adults and may be more vulnerable to auditory distraction. / Aim: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of passive listening on functional gait in healthy older vs. younger adults, and to investigate the effect of age, functional gait, hearing ability and cognitive functioning on dual-task performance. / Methods: Twenty young and 20 older healthy adults were recruited. Functional gait (Functional Gait Assessment in silent and noisy condition), hearing function (audiogram; Speech in Babble test), and cognitive ability (Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery) were measured. / Results: Overall, a significant difference between functional gait performance in silent vs. noisy conditions was found (p = 0.022), with no significant difference in dual-task cost between the two groups (p = 0.11). Correlations were found between increasing age, worse functional gait performance, poorer hearing capacity and lower performance on cognitive function tasks. Interestingly, worse performance on attention tasks appeared to be associated with a worse functional gait performance in the noisy condition. / Conclusion: Passive listening to multi-talker babble noise can affect functional gait in both young and older adults. This effect could result from the cognitive load of the babble noise, due to the engagement of attention networks by the unattended speech.

Type: Article
Title: Functional Gait Can Be Affected by Noise: Effects of Age and Cognitive Function: A Pilot Study
Location: Switzerland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fneur.2021.634395
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2021.634395
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2021 Buyle, Azoidou, Pavlou, Van Rompaey and Bamiou. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: functional gait, cognition, hearing loss, passive listening, attention
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > The Ear Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10123614
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