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

Yoga Guide 2018

Natural Awakenings Celebrates Yoga Month

Deeper in to Qi With Jeff Primack

Qi Revolution comes to North Texas October 20th-22nd.

DFW Solar Tour Among Nation’s Largest

As part of the 20th annual National Solar Tour, the world's largest grassroots solar event, the DFW tour is among the largest in the nation. In total, more than 165,000 participants are expected to visit some 5,500 buildings in 3,200 communities across the U.S.

Yoga Can Help with Lyme Disease

One breathing technique to raise the immune system is called ujjayi pranayama.

Farm Conference Celebrates Robust Food and Farm Community

Small-scale farmers, local food producers, and fans of their products will gather in McKinney from October 14 through 16 for the 12th annual Farm & Food Leadership Conference on the state of the local food movement.

Add your comment: