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Motor-cognitive Interventions to Improve Functional Parameters in Healthy Elderly Population
Introduction: With the desire for an independent life in old age, we search for solutions to slow down structural and functional changes. Regular physical activity or sports activity in combination with cognitive stimulation is one of the options to slow down the age-related adaptations of the human body. We reviewed to assess the effect of cognitive-motor interventions on selected gait parameters in healthy older adults. Method: We searched for existing studies on PubMed and Google Scholar using the following search strings and their synonyms: cognitive-motor exercise, walking, older adults. The final analysis included fourteen studies with a total of 909 subjects examining healthy older adults. All of the included studies contained a dual-task intervention that consisted of cognitive and motor tasks. Tasks were performed simultaneously or consecutively. Results: We found that cognitive-motor interventions can have a positive effect on walking speed in healthy older adults. The effect size of this model was low and significant (effect size = 0.35, 95% CI = 0.05 - 0.65, p = 0.02). Conclusion: With the performed literature review, it can be concluded that it is reasonable to include other cognitive-motor exercises in the physical activity routine of older adults. Additional caution is suggested while interpreting the results obtained due to the heterogeneity of the included trials, participants and the types of cognitive-motor interventions.