Dual task performance: a comparison between healthy elderly individuals and those with Parkinson’s disease

Eduardo Nascimento Floriano, Jacqueline Frazão Alves, Isabela Andrelino de Almeida, Roger Burgo de Souza, Gustavo Christofoletti, Suhaila Mahmoud Smaili Santos


Introduction: The dual tasks (DT) is learned during the whole life and a prerequisite in functional performance in different activities of daily living. Healthy elderly have reduced ability to perform motor activities and cognitive tasks simultaneously, compared to young adults. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the elderly and classic motor symptoms coexist with prejudice in cognitive domains. Objective: To compare balance, gait and performance in dual tasks of individuals with Parkinson’s disease and healthy elderly. Material and method: Transversal study consisted of 21 individuals with PD, classified between 1.5 to 3 in Hoehn and Yahr scale and 21 healthy individuals. To evaluate the performance on simple tasks and dual tasks the participants were submitted to five simple tasks (motor) and each was associated with a cognitive task, featuring a DT. To balance and gait evaluation was used the following instruments: Berg Balance Scale, Tinetti Scale and Dynamic Gait Index. Results: In respect to gait and performance in dual tasks, there was a statistically significant difference with the worst performance for the group of individuals with PD. Conclusion: It was found that the group of elderly people with PD has lower performance in the execution of concurrent tasks when compared with healthy elderly, so the DT can be introduced in rehabilitation programs to improve the performance of these patients.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1590/0103-5150.028.002.AO05


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