Proceedings of the Nutrition Society

Conference on Nutrition and Healthy Ageing

Plenary Lecture IV

Locomotion, cognition and influences of nutrition in ageing

The Nutrition Society Annual Summer meeting, hosted by Newcastle University. 15–18 July 2013.

Emmeline Ayersa1 and Joe Verghesea1a2 c1

a1 Division of Cognitive and Motor Aging, Saul R Korey Department of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1165 Morris Park Avenue, Rousso 301, Bronx, NY 10461, USA

a2 Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA


Gait and cognitive impairments in older adults can reflect the simultaneous existence of two syndromes that affect certain brain substrates and pathologies. Nutritional deficiencies, which are extremely common among elderly population worldwide, have potential to impact the existence and rehabilitation of both syndromes. Gait and cognition are controlled by brain circuits which are vulnerable to multiple age-related pathologies such as vascular diseases, inflammation and dementias that may be caused or accentuated by poor nutrition or deficiencies that lead to cognitive, gait or combined cognitive and gait impairments. The following review aims to link gait and cognitive classifications and provide an overview of the potential impact of nutritional deficiencies on both neurological and gait dysfunctions. The identification of common modifiable risk factors, such as poor nutrition, may serve as an important preventative strategy to reduce cognitive and mobility impairments and moderate the growing burden of dementia and disability worldwide.

(Online publication November 01 2013)

Key Words:

  • Gait;
  • Cognition;
  • Nutrition;
  • Ageing


c1 Corresponding author: Joe Verghese, fax 718 430 3829, email