Age-related brain changes associated with motor function in healthy older people

Richard Camicioli, M. M. Moore, G. Sexton, D. B. Howieson, Jeffrey A. Kaye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To identify the MRI imaging findings associated with motor changes in healthy older people. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study. SETTING: A study of neurologic function in very healthy older people, the Oregon Brain Aging Study. PARTICIPANTS: Clinical and MRI data were examined in 50 very healthy older subjects (mean age = 85.1, SD = 7.2 years). MEASUREMENTS: Clinical measures (finger tapping, hand opening and closing, steps and time to walk 30 feet and timed standing on one foot) were dependent variables in multiple regression analyses using age and the following MRI measures as independent variables: total brain volume (TBV)/intracranial volume; ventricular volume/TBV; periventricular high signal/TBV; deep high signal/TBV. RESULTS: The number of steps and the time to walk 30 feet were each associated with periventricular high signal (steps: r = .58, P < .001; time: r = .60, P < .001) and ventricular volume (steps: r = .54, P < .001; time: r = .58, P < .001). These associations remained significant after adjusting for age. None of the other clinical variables was associated with the MRI volumes. CONCLUSIONS: Gait measures were associated significantly with periventricular high signal and ventricular volume. These CNS changes contribute to the cause of these important markers of aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)330-334
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1999


  • Aging
  • Gait
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Motor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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