Sensory and motor deficits as contributors to early cognitive impairment

Zahra N. Sayyid, Hang Wang, Yurun Cai, Alden L. Gross, Bonnielin K. Swenor, Jennifer A. Deal, Frank R. Lin, Amal A. Wanigatunga, Ryan J. Dougherty, Qu Tian, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Luigi Ferrucci, Jennifer A. Schrack, Susan M. Resnick, Yuri Agrawal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Age-related sensory and motor impairment are associated with risk of dementia. No study has examined the joint associations of multiple sensory and motor measures on prevalence of early cognitive impairment (ECI). METHODS: Six hundred fifty participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging completed sensory and motor function tests. The association between sensory and motor function and ECI was examined using structural equation modeling with three latent factors corresponding to multisensory, fine motor, and gross motor function. RESULTS: The multisensory, fine, and gross motor factors were all correlated (r = 0.74 to 0.81). The odds of ECI were lower for each additional unit improvement in the multisensory (32%), fine motor (30%), and gross motor factors (12%). DISCUSSION: The relationship between sensory and motor impairment and emerging cognitive impairment may guide future intervention studies aimed at preventing and/or treating ECI. Highlights: Sensorimotor function and early cognitive impairment (ECI) prevalence were assessed via structural equation modeling. The degree of fine and gross motor function is associated with indicators of ECI. The degree of multisensory impairment is also associated with indicators of ECI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2653-2661
Number of pages9
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024


  • cognitive impairment
  • motor performance
  • sensory impairment
  • structural equation modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Health Policy
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Epidemiology


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