Cognitive Impairment Is Reflected by an Increased Difference between Real and Imagined Timed Up and Go Test Performance

Stefanie Rüdiger*, Tim Stuckenschneider, Tobias Vogt, Vera Abeln, Brian Lawlor, Marcel Olde Rikkert, Stefan Schneider

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Recent research suggests using an imaginary version of the Timed Up and Go test (TUG) for a first assessment of cognitive impairment. By using the time difference between a real (TUGr) and an imagined (TUGi) TUG task, the objective of this study was to examine the effect of cognitive impairment on motor imagery ability. Methods: Fifty-two participants (mean age 69.3 ± 4.0 years) with mild cognitive impairment or subjective cognitive impairment were included in this study. The time difference between the TUGr and the TUGi was used as the main outcome. The Trail Making Test part B (TMT B), the ratio between TMT A and TMT B, and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) battery were the main independent variables. Results: The difference between TUGr and TUGi performance time and the TMT B performance time increased with decreasing cognitive function (p < 0.01). There was no relationship between TUGr and TUGi performance time and TMT B/A ratio. There were significant correlations between TUG time differences and the MoCA score (r = -0.489, p < 0.01), the TMT B (r = 0.364, p < 0.01), and the TMT B/A ratio (r = 0.377, p < 0.01). Conclusion: The combination of TUGr and TUGi may have added value in assessing cognitive impairment, which is a possible pre-stage of dementia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-62
Number of pages8
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Executive function
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Motor imagery
  • Older adults
  • Timed Up and Go

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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