Gait decline could indicate dementia

 Gait decline could indicate dementia

People who walk about 5% slower or more each year while also exhibiting signs of slower mental processing are most likely to develop dementia, a large study of nearly 17,000 adults over age 65 finds.


The study was published in the journal JAMA Network Open.


These results highlight the importance of gait in dementia risk assessment," wrote corresponding author Taya Collyer, a research fellow at Peninsula Clinical School at Monash University in Victoria, Australia.


The new study followed a group of Americans over 65 and Australians over 70 for seven years.


What was measured?


-      Cognitive tests that measured overall cognitive decline, memory, processing speed and verbal fluency.

-       Twice every other year, subjects were also asked to walk 3 meters, or about 10 feet.


What were the results?


A dual decline in gait and cognitive function compared with nondecliners was significantly associated with increased risk of dementia. This risk was highest in those with both ga ...


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