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Use of a treadmill gait adaptability test involving unpredictable obstacles and stepping targets to assess fall risk

Grant number: 22/04501-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2023
Effective date (End): April 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Juliana Hotta Ansai
Grantee:João Vitor Businaro Florido
Supervisor: Stephen Ronald Lord
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia  
Associated to the scholarship:20/07720-2 - Effects of an intervention based on case management on neuropsychological factors in faller older people: randomized clinical trial, BP.IC


Falls are one of the biggest adverse factors for older adults' health, with approximately 30% of people aged over 65 years old falling at least once a year. Impairments in balance and gait are common in older people and important risk factors for falls. Furthermore, cognitive decline affects how well the individual will respond to situations where postural control is threatened. In this sense, developing new tools for assessing the ability to adjust gait and postural control in response to challenging environmental conditions is important to assess fall risk and prevent future falls. Objectives: to assess the feasibility of using a treadmill gait adaptability test (T-GAT); to investigate the relationship between gait adaptability performance and cognitive capacity in community-dwelling adults. Methods: A cross-sectional study will be conducted among 26 community-dwelling adults, aged 20 to 59 years, recruited from the Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) Volunteer database. The T-GAT will require participants to respond to unpredictable obstacles and stepping targets while walking on a treadmill. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (global cognition); the Trail-Making Test and the Stroop Color-Word Test-Victoria version will be used to evaluate cognitive flexibility/set-shifting and inhibitory control of executive functions, respectively. Expected results: We expect to demonstrate the feasibility of the new T-GAT and that gait performance in the T-GAT will be associated with cognitive and balance measures. (AU)

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