Corticospinal control of normal and visually-guided gait in healthy older and younger adults

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Meaghan Elizabeth Spedden, Julia Tsok Lam Choi, Jens Bo Nielsen, Svend Sparre Geertsen

We investigated age-related differences in corticospinal control of muscle activity during normal and visually guided (VG) walking. Young (n = 15, 22.1 ± 1.7 years) and older (n = 15, 68.3 ± 2.7 years) participants performed normalwalking and VGwalking requiring precise foot placement based on visual cues. Coherence analysiswas used to quantify coupling between electroencephalography and electromyography from the anterior tibial muscle (corticomuscular) and between the 2 ends of the anterior tibial muscle (intramuscular) at 15-50 Hz during the swing phase of walking as markers of corticospinal activity. Our results indicated that corticomuscular and intramuscular coherencewas lower in older compared to young participants during both tasks. In addition, coherencewas generally greater during VG than during normal walking across age groups, although during late swing, older participants drove several of the observed task-related coherence increases. Performance on the VG task was lower in older compared to young
participants andwas correlated with task-related corticomuscular coherencemodulations within the older group. These results suggest age-related differences in the corticospinal control of walking, with possible implications for precision control of foot placement based on visual information.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Volume78
Pages (from-to)29-41
Number of pages13
ISSN0197-4580
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ID: 214506101