Joe Verghese, MBBS, MS: Characteristics of Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome


The director of the Montefiore Einstein Center for the Aging Brain detailed the symptoms of motoric cognitive risk syndrome and how they compare to more typical mild cognitive impairment.

"This is based on the criteria for mild cognitive impairment syndrome, the only difference being that we’ve substituted slow gait for objective cognitive testing, thus making it more accessible in many settings.”

Recently, Joe Verghese, MBBS, MS, was awarded 2 grants from the National Institutes of Health, totaling $13.8 million, to conduct studies on pre-dementia and Alzheimer disease (AD). The first grant totals $7.6 million over 5 years and will fund a study of motoric cognitive risk syndrome (MCR), a pre-dementia condition, in 11,000 older adults. Verghese, who is the director of the Montefiore Einstein Center for the Aging Brain, and colleagues will use the grant to investigate the biological roots of MCR and identify biomarkers for the condition.

The origins of MCR date back to 2014, where Verghese first identified and described the condition, which is often characterized in older adults who have abnormally slow gait and cognitive complaints. Results from that study showed that MCR affects almost 1 in 10 older adults, with a 2-fold increased risk of developing dementia within 12 years of the diagnosis.

Verghese, who also is the Murray D. Gross Memorial Faculty Scholar in gerontology, director of the Resnick Gerontology Center, and professor in the Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology and of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, sat down with NeurologyLive to discuss how MCR is characterized and what unique symptoms those with the condition present.

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