Influence of Cognition on Gait

Dr. Isabelle KillaneFiachra Maguire, Andrew Creagh, Gavin Bennett, Professor Richard Reilly


The global population is ageing. Identifying markers of impairment as early as possible is paramount in order to maintain healthy successful ageing. Despite growing evidence linking gait and cognition in aging, cognitive risk assessments that incorporate motoric signs are not employed clinically. Recently, a measure with the potential to identify older adults at high risk for transitioning to dementia has been developed: the motoric cognitive risk (MCR) syndrome. The MCR syndrome has been defined as the presence of cognitive complaints and slow gait in non-demented individuals and could be a simple and easily accessible clinical approach.

MCR has the potential to be a sensitive, specific measure that can identify those at risk of transitioning to dementia. Through examination of specific motor and cognitive parameters a modified-MCR may be a subtle measure of dementia subtypes.

To validate the Motoric Cognitive Risk (MCR) syndrome in the Irish population. To investigate the efficacy of a modified-MCR at identifying those with poor motor performance and cognitive impairment.


Recent Activities

  1. Maguire F., Killane I., Creagh, A., Donoghue O.,  Kenny R.A., Reilly R.B., “Movers and Shakers: Motor Measures of Cognition”, Global Ageing: Challengers and Opportunities, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, 2017. Winning Third Place.
  2. Maguire F, Killane I, Creagh A, Donoghue O,  Kenny RA, Reilly RB. Characterisation of Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome from a Nationally Representative Sample, Proceedings of the Irish Gerontological Society, Age and Ageing, 2016. DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afw159.33

  3. Creagh A, Killane I, Maguire F, Donoghue O, Kenny RA, Reilly RB. Examining the Links between Domains of Gait and Tests of Global Cognition : A Factor Analysis Approach, Proceedings of the Irish Gerontological Society, Age and Ageing, 2016. DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afw159.207

  4. Bennett G, Cushen B, Killane I, Maguire F, Costello R, Reilly RB. Investigating Gait in Elderly COPD Patients Hospitalized with an Acute Exacerbation, Proceedings of the Irish Gerontological Society, Age and Ageing, 2016. DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afw159.120Winning Best Poster.


  1. *Killane I ,*Feron C, Newman L, McDonnell C, Waechter S, Sons K, Lynch T, Reilly RB. Dual Motor-Cognitive Virtual Reality Training Impacts Dual-Task Performance in Freezing of Gait. IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics . 2015;JBHI-00251-2015.(* co-authors)

  2. Killane I , Donoghue OA, Savva GM, Cronin H, Kenny RA, Reilly RB. Relative Association of Processing Speed, Short-Term Memory and Sustained Attention With Task on Gait Speed: A Study of Community-Dwelling People 50 Years and Older. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. 2014. DOI: 10.1093/gerona/glu140

Conference Proceedings

  1. Maguire F, Killane I, Creagh A, Donoghue O,  Kenny RA, Reilly RB. Cognitive Function Within Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome, Department of Gerontology Open Day, Trinity College Dublin, 2016.

  2. Maguire F, Killane I, Reilly, RB. Gait, Cognition and Associated Risk Factors: Insights from SHARE and TILDA, Proceedings of BioEngineering in Ireland, Irish Journal of Medical Science, 2016. DOI: 10.6084/m9.figshare.3470234

  3. Bennett G, Killane I, Cushen B, Reilly RB. Risk Factors for Hospital Re-Admissions in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary DiseaseProceedings of BioEngineering in Ireland, 2016.

  4. Killane I, Fearon C, McDonnell C, Sons K, Reilly RB. Assessing Variances After A Freezing of Gait Intervention: A Dual Motor-Cognitive Task in a Virtual Environment, Joint World Congress of ISPGR (International Society of Posture and Gait Research) and Gait & Mental Function (GMF) Seville, Spain, 2015.

  5. Sheehan KJ, Killane I, Gormley J, Kenny RA, Foran T. The influence of the content of speech production and perception on gait variability. ISPGR GMF, Vancouver, Canada, 2014.\Killane I, Cosgrave N, McDevitt N, , Foran T, Sheehan KJ, Gormley J, Kenny RA, Reilly RB. Comparison of Standard and Poincare Measures of Stride Time Variability. . ISPGR GMF, Vancouver, Canada, 2014.

  6. Killane I , Donoghue O, Savva G, Cronin H, Kenny RA, Reilly RB. Contributions of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA) to Dual Task Gait Performance. ISPGR GMF, Vancouver, Canada 2014

  7. Killane I,Donoghue O, Savva G, Cronin H, Kenny RA, Reilly RB. Variance Between Walking Speed and Neuropsychological Test Scores During Three Gait Tasks Across The Irish Longitudinal Study On Aging (TILDA). Proceedings of the 35th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (IEEE EMBC’13), Osaka, Japan. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2013;2013:6921-4. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2013.6611149

  8. Killane I, Gallego J, Browett G, Reilly RB. Measurement of Attention During Movement: Acquisition of Ambulatory EEG and Cognitive Performance from healthy Young Adults. Proceedings of the 35th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (IEEE EMBC’13), Osaka, Japan. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2013;2013:6397-400. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2013.6611018

  9. Killane I, Donoghue O, Savva G, Cronin H, Kenny RA, Reilly RB. Association Between Gait Variability and Sustained Attention in a Community Dwelling Nationally Representative Population Sample. ISPGR GMF, Akita, Japan, 2013.

  10. Killane I , Donoghue O, Savva G, Cronin H, Kenny RA, Reilly RB. Exploring Correlations between Walking Speed and Cognitive Function using Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA) subscores from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA). British Geriatrics Society (BGS) Autumn Scientific Meeting, Harrogate, Yorkshire, England, 2012.

  11. Killane I, Brennan C, Savva G, Donoghue O, Cronin H, Kenny RA, Reilly RB. Comparisons between Simple and Complex Gait Tasks across different Executive Function Groups and Tertiles – Cross Sectional Data from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Aging (TILDA). ISPGR GMF, Trondheim, Norway, 2012.

  12. Killane I, Browett G, Reilly RB. Measuring Neural Responses During Mild Exercise. International Conference on Ambulatory Monitoring of Physical Activity and Movement (iCAMPAM), Glasgow, Scotland, 2011
    [Shortlisted for Best Student Poster]