MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Joe Verghese, MBBS, MS
Professor of Neurology and Medicine,
Chief, Integrated Divisions of Cognitive & Motor Aging (Neurology) and Geriatrics (Medicine), Director, Resnick Gerontology Center,
Murray D Gross Memorial Faculty Scholar in Gerontology,
Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461
Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?
Answer: Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome (MCR) is a newly described pre-dementia syndrome that is characterized by presence of slow gait and cognitive complaints in older adults without dementia or mobility disability. In this study, we report that the prevalence of Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome was 9.7% in 26,802 adults aged 60 and older from 22 cohort studies based in 17 countries. Presence of Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome was also associated with an almost two-fold risk of developing dementia.
Medical Research: Were any of the findings unexpected?
Answer: The association of Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome with dementia was significant even after excluding participants with possible cognitive impairment, accounting for early dementia, and diagnostic overlap with other pre-dementia syndromes. In an earlier study, Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome was associated with increased risk of developing vascular dementia. However, in the current study Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome predicted risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Hence, MCR might be a marker for both neurodegenerative and vascular pathways to dementia.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Answer: Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome syndrome is common in older adults, and is a strong and early risk factor for cognitive decline. While many pre-dementia syndromes have been described, the need for complex cognitive tests, biomarkers or imaging may limit their accessibility in many settings. On the other hand, Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome can be diagnosed with simple questions about cognitive complaints and timing gait increasing accessibility in a variety of clinical settings.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Answer: Further validation studies of Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome in different populations and settings are required so that clinicians and researchers may utilize this clinical approach to improve dementia risk assessments. Identification of risk factors for Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome will help develop novel interventions to prevent cognitive decline worldwide.