Special Issue "Mobility Impairments from a Multimodal Neuroscience of Aging Perspective"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Manuel E. Hernandez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
Interests: mobility; balance; gait; aging; neurological disorders; neuroimaging; biomechanics
Dr. Jeannette R. Mahoney
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx NY 10461, USA
Interests: multisensory integration; aging; gait; balance and postural stability; cognition; attention and executive functioning

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,


Mobility impairments are prevalent in older adults over 65 years of age and are associated with adverse health outcomes such as injurious falls, fear of falling, and a poor quality of life. Whereas balance and walking had traditionally been viewed as autonomous processes, evidence over the last decade has revealed that cognitive (specifically attention and executive function) and sensory integration processes have significant impacts on balance, gait, and falls in aging. These findings have real-world significance, considering that many routine activities of daily living require the ability to perform two or more tasks concurrently while properly allocating attentional resources in complex urban environments. Given that even in the absence of major clinical pathologies, aging is associated with changes in brain structure and function, it is important to examine the behavioral and neural correlates of mobility impairments and interventions aimed at restoring mobility function in older adults.

For the current Special Issue, we invite cutting-edge studies integrating innovative technologies (such as virtual, augmented, or mixed reality, neuroimaging, wearable sensors, and machine learning/artificial intelligence) and multimodal approaches to uncover the relationship that other systems (sensory and cognitive) have on mobility function in older adults with and without clinical pathologies.

Dr. Manuel E. Hernandez
Dr. Jeannette R. Mahoney
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Mobility
  • Aging
  • Neuroscience
  • Intervention
  • Cognition
  • Multisensory integration
  • Falls
  • Fear of falling
  • Quality of life
  • Technology

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Cognitive Function and Whole-Brain MRI Metrics Are Not Associated with Mobility in Older Adults with Multiple Sclerosis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 4232; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18084232 - 16 Apr 2021
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Due to advances in disease-modifying medications and earlier management of comorbidities, adults with multiple sclerosis (MS) are living longer, and this coincides with the aging of the general population. One major problem among older adults with and without MS is limited mobility, a [...] Read more.
Due to advances in disease-modifying medications and earlier management of comorbidities, adults with multiple sclerosis (MS) are living longer, and this coincides with the aging of the general population. One major problem among older adults with and without MS is limited mobility, a consequence of aging that often negatively affects quality of life. Identifying factors that contribute to mobility disability is needed to develop targeted rehabilitation approaches. This study examined cognitive processing speed and global brain atrophy as factors that may contribute to mobility disability in older adults with and without MS. Older adults (≥55 years) with MS (n = 31) and age- and sex-matched controls (n = 22) completed measures of mobility (Short Physical Performance Battery) and cognitive processing speed (Symbol Digit Modalities Test) and underwent an MRI to obtain whole-brain metrics (gray matter volume, white matter volume, ventricular volume) as markers of atrophy. Mobility was significantly worse in the MS group than in the control group (p = 0.004). Spearman correlations indicated that neither cognitive processing speed (MS: rs = 0.26; Control: rs = 0.08) nor markers of global brain atrophy (MS: rs range = −0.30 to −0.06; Control: rs range = −0.40 to 0.16) were significantly associated with mobility in either group. Other factors such as subcortical gray matter structures, functional connectivity, exercise/physical activity, and cardiovascular fitness should be examined as factors that may influence mobility in aging adults with and without MS. Full article
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