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

Read Our Farmers' Guide Below

Farmers' Market Guide

Buying locally inspires creativity, community sharing and gratitude toward food that is often lost in big box stores and major grocery chains.

Compost Feeds the Soil

Here in North Texas, growing things can be difficult, whether it’s vegetables, grass or shrubs.

Take Wellness to the Next Level with OligoScan

The Thermography Center of Dallas is now 0ffering the OligoScan, which shows in less than five minutes what heavy metals are in the body, as well as 20 important minerals.

Home Infrared Saunas at Nebraska Furniture Mart

Sunlighten, a global wellness company and leader in the infrared sauna space for nearly 20 years, has partnered with Nebraska Furniture Mart (NFM), the largest home furnishing store in North America.

Add your comment: