How fast you walk can be a sign of dementia

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Walking slowly as you age is always a warning sign of increasing weakness, which experts say can lead to falls and other disorders. Increasing research in small groups of older subjects has found that walking slowly each year can be an early sign of cognitive decline.

This may be due to shrinkage in the right hippocampus, which is the part of the brain associated with memory, according to studies.

But not all symptoms of cognitive decline can be predicted later. Dementia – Only 10% to 20% of people aged 65 and over with mild cognitive impairment or MCI will develop dementia within the next year. Aging National Institute. “In many cases, symptoms of MCI may remain the same or improve,” the company says.

Now, in a large, new study of 17,000 adults over age 65, those who walk about 5% slower or more each year are more likely to develop dementia if they show signs of slow mental processing. The study was published Tuesday in the JAMA Network Open Magazine.

“These results underscore the importance of style in dementia risk assessment,” wrote Daya Collier, research fellow at Monash University’s Peninsular Medical School in Victoria, Australia.

The new study followed a group of Americans over 65 and Australians over 70 for seven years. Each year, study participants were asked to take cognitive tests that measure general cognitive decline, memory, processing speed and fluency.

Twice a year, subjects were asked to walk 3 meters, or about 10 feet. Both results were averaged to determine the person’s usual style.

At the end of the study, the researchers found that people at higher risk of dementia were not only “doubly reduced” or very sluggish, but also showed some signs of cognitive decline, according to Dr. Joe Varghese, Professor of Geriatrics and Neurology. At the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, Who is not involved in the study.

“Furthermore, people with dual deficits have a higher risk of dementia than people with walking or cognitive impairments,” Varghese wrote in a Tuesday editorial in JAMA magazine.

The dual correlation between walking speed and memory loss predicts postpartum dementia, a 2020 meta-analysis of nearly 9,000 American adults was diagnosed.

Despite these findings, Varghese wrote that “gait disturbances are not considered an early clinical feature in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.”

There are things we can do as we age to change the brain contractions that accompany normal aging. Studies have found that aerobic exercise increases the size of the hippocampus, some will increase characteristics of memory.

Deeply embedded in the brain’s temporal lobe, the hippocampus is a uniquely shaped organ responsible for learning, coordination of memories, and spatial navigation such as B. the ability to remember directions, places and orientations.

Aerobic exercise increased the size of the right anterior hippocampus by 2%, thereby reversing age-related organ loss in one to two years. 2011 randomized clinical trial. In comparison, those who only did stretching exercise lost about 1.43% over the same period.

Aerobic exercise is a type of exercise that increases “air” and heart rate and breathing, but you can’t function consistently. Types of aerobic exercise include brisk walking, swimming, running, biking, dancing, and kickboxing, as well as any cardio equipment such as a treadmill, elliptical trainer, rover, or stair climber at your local gym.

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