A slower walking speed may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease, since the slow pace is associated with an advanced level of amyloid in brain tissues, according to a study on a significant sample of senior citizens who were at a risk of having dementia. The research, released in the online medical publications, was performed by a group of neuro specialists who analyzed a series of symptoms linked to brain affections.
Their results indicate that, considering physical factors which are not traditionally associated with dementia, like walking speed, could help improve the early diagnosing of people who are in danger of developing Alzheimer’s disease. However, more proof is required before this information can be turned into medical practice, they added, since there are numerous possible causes of slower walking in seniors.
American doctors said that past epidemiologic tests have shown a decrease walking speed in people with mild brain incapacity or in healthy individuals who developed such an impairment later in life. It was also revealed that Alzheimer’s affection and pathology based on postmortem examinations are associated with slower walking speed prior to the death of the patients. However, the sensory systems behind these findings were mostly untouched by these studies.
They believed that the procedure behind such results could be amyloid poisoning interfering with neural connections. Specialists therefore performed the present research to analyze the link between amyloid formation and slower walking speed in older individuals who were at a high risk of developing dementia.
The set of tests involved more than 125 subjects having the average age of 76 and that did not present signs of dementia, but who were regarded as having a high risk due to various memory problems. They were examined with positron tomography in order to evaluate amyloid areas inside the brain tissues and 45 percents of the individuals were discovered to have high levels of amyloid generally linked to dementia.
All subjects also took cognitive tests and 40% were discovered to present mild intellectual incapacity. Their walking speed was calculated by timing the elders while walking a short distance of 15 feet. Almost all people involved in the study were in regular parameters of walking speeds for their age.
Image source: Independent