East Bay Edition

Walking Speed May Predict Dementia

Slow Pace Could Indicate Cognitive Decline

Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

A recent study published in Neurology suggests there is a link between walking speed and the onset of dementia in older adults. Using a stopwatch, tape and an 18-foot-long hallway to measure the walking speed of 175 adults aged 70 to 79, University of Pittsburgh researchers found that in the course of 14 years, those that slowed down by 0.1 second or more per year were 47 percent more likely to develop cognitive decline. The slowing walkers also experienced shrinkage in the right hippocampus, associated with complex learning and memory. The results held true even after realizing that a slowing gait could be due to muscle weakness, knee pain or another disease.

Similarly, a study published in Neurology of 93 adults 70 and older found that slow walkers were nine times more likely to develop non-memory-related mild cognitive decline than moderate-to-fast walkers. Walking speed was monitored using infrared sensors in their homes over a three-year period; participants regularly took memory and thinking tests.


This article appears in the July 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Warming Planet Will Worsen Sleep

Rising temperatures could cause six additional nights of poor sleep per 100 people by 2050 and 14 by 2099, say scientists.

Exercise Benefits Cancer Survivors

Breast cancer survivors that regularly perform moderate-to-vigorous physical activity show improved attention, memory and multitasking abilities.

Eating Apples and Tomatoes Repairs Lungs

Fresh tomatoes and fruit, especially apples, help heal damaged lungs of ex-smokers and can slow the natural decline of lung function that typically occurs after age 30.

Steam Baths Ease Allergies

Thais with hay fever that soaked in half-hour steam baths three times a week reported fewer symptoms such as sneezing, nasal itching and congestion.

Bee Venom Is Powerful Lyme Disease Remedy

Bee venom reduces the Lyme disease bacterium more effectively than antibiotics, reports the Lyme Disease Research Group, in Connecticut.

Add your comment: