A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests simple memory and walking-speed testing could help doctors identify people at risk of dementia and introduce preventive measures early on.
People who walk slowly and exhibit signs of slower mental processing are more likely to develop dementia, according to this large study of nearly 17,000 adults over age 65.
The study followed a group of American and Australian seniors for seven years. It asked them to walk 3 meters twice every other year.
A slowed gait is defined as walking at a speed 0.05 meters per second slower each year. Participants with a slowed gait were at a greater risk of developing dementia.
The study tested participants’ gait and cognitive rate every two years, and also studied their delayed free call, processing speed and verbal fluency.
The study explained that cognitive decline is strongly associated with dementia, but that a combined gait-cognition measure provides additional benefit beyond cognitive testing alone.
Aerobic exercise training increased the volume of the hippocampus by 2%, preventing age-related decline in the organ.
Aerobic exercise increases heart rate and breathing, but does not make you unable to continue to function.
Amy Brodtmann, a neurologist and Dementia Australia’s honorary medical adviser, said the study’s findings showed dementia impacts several parts of the brain. This would alter the way dementia is diagnosed and managed.
For more details on this study, consider the following articles listed below and stay in the know.
- Your walking speed could indicate dementia CNN
- Walking Like This Over Time May Be Linked To Dementia, Study Finds mindbodygreen.com
- New study on walking shows how to keep seniors Aging Well KITV
- Dual Decline in Gait, Cognition Linked to Increased Dementia Risk Medscape
- Walking more slowly can be sign of impending dementia, scientists find Sydney Morning Herald