Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Associations of Brain Injury Biomarkers in Serum with Gait Measures: The Cardiovascular Health Study

Nadkarni, Abhijay N. (2023) Associations of Brain Injury Biomarkers in Serum with Gait Measures: The Cardiovascular Health Study. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

This is the latest version of this item.

[img] PDF
Restricted to University of Pittsburgh users only until 5 January 2025.

Download (401kB) | Request a Copy


Gait impairment leads to adverse health consequences and has neurological contributions. However, little is known of how specific brain injury biomarkers are associated with multiple quantitative gait measures. Therefore, this study explored how plasma biomarkers of brain injury are related to gait measures in older adults. We hypothesized that higher levels of neurofilament light-chain (NfL) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), but lower levels of ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCH-L1) and total tau, predict worse gait performance. Participants (n=1959, mean age=78.0 years) were selected from a population-based cohort study and followed from 1998 to 2000. They received a serum biomarker assessment (Quanterix™) at year 9 for NfL, GFAP, UCH-L1, and total tau. Gait speed was measured each year over a 15-ft walkway. Linear mixed effects models assessed the longitudinal association of serum biomarkers with gait speed at year 9 and the annual change, adjusting for demographic factors. A subsample (n=380, mean age=77.6 years) was assessed on a gait mat at year 9 for gait speed, step length, double support time, step time, step length variability and step time variability. Spearman’s correlations and linear regression adjusted for demographic factors assessed the cross-sectional relationship between serum biomarkers and gait mat measures. NfL was significantly associated with baseline gait speed (standardized β= -0.93 m/s [95% CI: -1.62, -0.24]) and the annual change in gait speed (standardized β = -0.69 m/s [-1.28, -0.10]) after adjustment. Results were similar in the gait mat subsample where NfL was significantly associated with gait speed cross-sectionally. No other biomarkers were significantly related to gait measures in longitudinal or cross-sectional analyses. Higher NfL levels were related to slower baseline gait speed and a greater annual decline over 2 years. Gait speed decline may be related to specific aspects of axonal degeneration. Our study can further inform public health efforts to screen those vulnerable to gait impairment.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Nadkarni, Abhijay N.ann71@pitt.eduann71
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRosso, Andreaalr143@pitt.edualr143UNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberBrach, Jenniferjbrach@pitt.edujbrachUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberMukamal, Kennethkmukamal@bidmc.harvard.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 5 January 2023
Date Type: Completion
Number of Pages: 43
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: No
Uncontrolled Keywords: serum, biomarkers, brain injury, gait, CHS, Cardiovascular Health Study, NfL tau, UCH-L1, GFAP
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2023 14:30
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2023 14:30

Available Versions of this Item

  • Associations of Brain Injury Biomarkers in Serum with Gait Measures: The Cardiovascular Health Study. (deposited 05 Jan 2023 14:30) [Currently Displayed]


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item