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Timed Up and Go in People with Subjective Cognitive Decline Is Associated with Faster Cognitive Deterioration and Cortical Thickness

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Miguel Germán Borda, Daniel Ferreira, Per Selnes, Diego Alejandro Tovar-Rios, Alberto Jaramillo-Jiménez, Bjørn Eivind Kirsebom, Elkin Garcia-Cifuentes, Turi O. Dalaker, Ketil Oppedal, Hogne Sønnesyn, Tormod Fladby, Dag Aarsland

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-72
Number of pages10
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Issue number1
Early online date25 Mar 2022
Accepted/In press14 Jan 2022
E-pub ahead of print25 Mar 2022
Published1 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: The project was supported by the Norwegian Research Council, NASATS (DDI), and the JPND (APGeM), and funding was received from the regional health authorities (Helse Sør-Øst and Helse vest). The project was also funded by the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily of the NHS, the National Institute for Health Research, or the Department of Health and Social Care. Publisher Copyright: © 2022

King's Authors


Introduction: Early markers of neurodegeneration provide an opportunity to detect, monitor, and initiate interventions in individuals who have an increased risk of developing dementia. Here, we investigated whether the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test is associated with early brain neurodegeneration and whether the TUG test could be a marker of cognitive decline in people with subjective cognitive decline (SCD). Methods: This is a longitudinal analysis of the Dementia Disease Initiation Study, a prospective, community-based, cohort study from Norway, designed to investigate early markers of cognitive impairment and dementia. Participants were classified as SCD and healthy controls (HC). The main studied variables were the TUG test and cognition as measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination and the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease memory composite score. Additionally, we investigated the cross-sectional association of brain morphology with the TUG using 1.5T-MRI. Results: The sample included 45 participants (SCD = 21, HC = 24) followed during a mean time of 1.50 ± 0.70 years. At baseline, the cognitive performance did not differ between the groups, but TUG was longer in SCD. Slower baseline TUG was associated with a faster cognitive decline in both groups and it was also associated with reduced cortical thickness especially in motor, executive, associative, and somatosensory cortical regions in people with SCD. Discussion/Conclusion: TUG predicted cognitive change in individuals with SCD, and there was a negative association between TUG and cortical thickness. TUG is a promising cheap and noninvasive marker of early cognitive decline and may help initiate interventions in individuals who have an increased risk of dementia.

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