Slow walking means slower thinking

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Slow walking could be a sign of cognitive impairment. In a new study,older adults who walked slowly were nine times more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment than their more agile peers.

The study from the journal Neurology included 93 adults aged 70 and older who lived independently. Researchers fitted participants’ homes with infrared sensors to measure their normal walking patterns. Over the course of three years, changes in walking patterns predicated the development of mild cognitive impairment.

The authors suggested that daily fluctuations in walking speed, balance, mood or mental performance may be a sign of early stages of dementia.

Another new study found that drinking coffee could decrease dementia risk.

Reference

Dodge H, et al. In-home walking speeds and variability trajectories associated with mild cognitive impairment. Neurology 2012; 78: 1946-1952.

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