The interplay between gait, falls and cognition: Can cognitive therapy reduce fall risk?

Orit Segev-Jacubovski, Talia Herman, Galit Yogev-Seligmann, Anat Mirelman, Nir Giladi, Jeffrey M. Hausdorff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In this article, we briefly summarize the incidence and significant consequences of falls among older adults, the insufficient effectiveness of commonly used multifactorial interventions and the evidence linking falls and cognitive function. Recent pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic studies that evaluated the effects of cognitive therapy on fall risk are reviewed. The results of this article illustrate the potential utility of multiple, diverse forms of cognitive therapy for reducing fall risk. The article also indicates that large-scale, randomized controlled trials are warranted and that additional research is needed to better understand the pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying the interplay between human mobility, fall risk and cognitive function. Nonetheless, we suggest that multimodality interventions that combine motor and cognitive therapy should, eventually, be incorporated into clinical practice to enable older adults and patients to move safer and with a reduced fall risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1057-1075
Number of pages19
JournalExpert Review of Neurotherapeutics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the National Institute of Aging (AG14100) and the Israel Ministry of Health. The authors have no other relevant affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in or financial conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript apart from those disclosed.


  • aging
  • attention
  • cognition
  • cognitive intervention
  • dual task
  • elderly
  • executive function
  • falls
  • gait
  • therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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