Association of Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome With Brain Volumes: Results From the GAIT Study

Olivier Beauchet, Gilles Allali, Cédric Annweiler, Joe Verghese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Background: The "motoric cognitive risk" (MCR) syndrome is a newly reported predementia syndrome combining cognitive complaint and slow gait speed. We hypothesized that individuals with MCR syndrome would have lower brain volumes compared with non-MCR individuals. This study aims (i) to compare the cognitive profile of nondemented older community-dwellers with and without MCR syndrome and (ii) to examine association of global and regional brain volumes with MCR syndrome. Methods: A total of 171 individuals (28 MCR and 143 non-MCR) were included in this cross-sectional study. Total white matter abnormalities, total white matter, total cortical and subcortical gray matters, hippocampus, motor cortex, premotor cortex, and prefrontal cortex were examined. Brain volumes were quantified from a three-dimensional T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging using semi-automated software. Age, gender, education level, number of drugs taken daily, use of psychoactive drugs, and cognitive profile were also measured. Results: The distribution of cognitively healthy individuals and those with mild cognitive impairment was not different in participants with and without MCR. Multiple logistic regression models showed that smaller volumes of total gray matter (p =. 016), total cortical gray matter (p =. 010), premotor cortex (p =. 018), prefrontal cortex (p =. 026), and dorsolateral segment of prefrontal cortex (p =. 032) were associated with MCR status. The premotor cortex presented the highest mean difference for brain regional volume between MCR and non-MCR participants (p =. 03). Conclusions: The findings revealed similar cognitive profile in MCR and non-MCR participants, and MCR-related smaller global and regional gray matter volumes involving premotor and prefrontal cortices, suggesting that the MCR syndrome may predict cortical neurodegenerative dementia more than subcortical dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1081-1088
Number of pages8
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Cognitive disorders
  • Gait disorders
  • MRI
  • Motor control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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