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Factors that influence habitual activity in mild cognitive impairment and dementia

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ríona McArdle, Dr Silvia Del DinORCiD, Dr Paul DonaghyORCiD, Dr Brook Galna, Professor Alan ThomasORCiD, Professor Lynn Rochester



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Karger Publishers , 2020.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Background: Reduced engagement with habitual activity (HA) is associated with greater risk and progression of cognitive decline and falls in older adults and people with dementia. Understanding external and intrinsic factors that affect HA may provide novel targets for non-pharmacologic interventions. Objective: This study primarily aims to identify factors that influence HA in normal ageing and cognitive impairment, such as cognitive and motor problems and disease subtype. Methods: 108 older adults participated in this study; 36 with cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), 30 dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), 16 Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD) and 26 controls. A tri-axial accelerometer recorded continuous data of volume, variability and pattern of HA over seven days. Participants undertook a battery of cognitive and neuropsychological assessments. Results: One-way analysis of variance analysis controlling for age and gender show that people with DLB and PDD engage less with HA compared to controls (p≤.01), but there were no significant differences between AD and controls (p≥.01). Multivariate analysis demonstrated motor disease and impairments in activities of daily living independently explained 10 - 26% of volume, variability and pattern of HA in people with cognitive impairment. Conclusion: People with cognitive impairment have reduced HA engagement compared to controls. Motor disease and impairments in activities of daily living most strongly contribute to these findings, and may be important to consider for disease management. Wearable technology can provide a personalised picture of an individual’s daily behaviours, and may be a useful tool for person-centred care.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mc Ardle R, Del Din S, Donaghy P, Galna B, Thomas A, Rochester L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Gerontology

Year: 2020

Volume: 66

Pages: 197-208

Online publication date: 01/09/2019

Acceptance date: 23/07/2019

Date deposited: 23/07/2019

ISSN (print): 0304-324X

ISSN (electronic): 1423-0003

Publisher: Karger Publishers


DOI: 10.1159/000502288


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