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Could Slow Walking Foreshadow Early Dementia?
Posted: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 3:54 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326

From Alzheimer's Daily News:

(Source: US News) - Though walking slower may be typical of older adults, changes in walking speed among older adults may indicate the early stages of a type of dementia called mild cognitive impairment, researchers say.

Results of a recent study showed that people with non-memory related mild cognitive impairment were nine times more likely to be slow walkers than moderate or fast walkers. The researchers also found that the amount of fluctuation in walking speed also was associated with mild cognitive impairment.


"Further studies need to be done using larger groups of participants to determine whether walking speed and its fluctuations could be a predictor of future memory and thinking problems in the elderly," said Hiroko Dodge of Oregon Health and Science University..


"If we can detect dementia at its earliest phases, then we can work to maintain people's independence, provide treatments and ultimately develop ways to prevent the disease from developing," explained Dodge.


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Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 7:51 PM
Joined: 7/6/2012
Posts: 37

My mother was a very slow walker, but she also had problems with her knees. The funny thing is that once she was diagnosed and living in an assisted living facility, she started walking very quickly. Go figure!



Johanna C.
Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 1:04 PM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 11345

While this may be interesting to read, I would lend absoutely no credence to this "study" if it made me worry about a loved one, etc.


The study had only 93 subjects all who lived alone, 54 of them had no issues whatsoever, 31 had non-memory mild changes and 8 of the subjects had memory relateds mild changes.


Not a big enough sample to be meaninful for anything, and these were older people who lived alone - how many had knee, hip, or other joint problems; how many were on medication that affected them; how many were overweight; how many were affected by isolation from living alone; how many had other medical issues or issues related to nutrition, hydration, etc.


Simply cannot draw a single conclusion from this, not even the validity of doing a future study based on such a parameter.