University of Tasmania
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Rudd_et_al-2023-GeroScience.pdf (1.15 MB)

Investigating the associations between upper limb motor function and cognitive impairment: a scoping review

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Upper limb motor function is a potential new biomarker of cognitive impairment and may aid discrimination from healthy ageing. However, it remains unclear which assessments to use. This study aimed to explore what methods have been used and to describe associations between upper limb function and cognitive impairment. A scoping review was conducted using PubMed, CINAHL and Web of Science. A systematic search was undertaken, including synonyms for key concepts 'upper limb', 'motor function' and 'cognitive impairment'. Selection criteria included tests of upper limb motor function and impaired cognition in adults. Analysis was by narrative synthesis. Sixty papers published between 1998 and 2022, comprising 41,800 participants, were included. The most common assessment tasks were finger tapping, Purdue Pegboard Test and functional tasks such as writing. Protocols were diverse in terms of equipment used and recording duration. Most participants were recruited from clinical settings. Alzheimer's Disease was the most common cause of cognitive impairment. Results were mixed but, generally, slower speed, more errors, and greater variability in upper limb movement variables was associated with cognitive impairment. This review maps the upper limb motor function assessments used and summarises the available evidence on how these associate with cognitive impairment. It identifies research gaps and may help guide protocols for future research. There is potential for upper limb motor function to be used in assessments of cognitive impairment.

History

Publication title

GeroScience

Pagination

25

eISSN

2509-2723

Department/School

Wicking Dementia Research Education Centre

Publisher

SPRINGER

Publication status

  • Published online

Rights statement

Copyright 2023 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Socio-economic Objectives

200104 Prevention of human diseases and conditions, 200101 Diagnosis of human diseases and conditions

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