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Last Updated Tuesday June 27 2017 11:55 AM IST

Your walk predicts your memory loss, thinking ability

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Your walk predicts your memory loss, thinking ability Previous studies have reported that slower gait speed might predict cognitive impairment and dementing illnesses

Do you lose your balance while walking? Do you walk slow? Beware! You are at a significant risk of developing decline in memory and thinking.

Walking is part of the complex cognitive task known as gait that includes everything from a person's stride length to the accompanying swing of each arm.

Previous studies have reported that slower gait speed might predict cognitive impairment and dementing illnesses, supporting the role of gait speed as a possible sub clinical marker of cognitive impairment.

In a recent study, researchers from Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, US, used a non-invasive computerized gait analysis test that could identify patients at high risk for cognitive decline and to target appropriate therapies.

They measured gait parameters, such as stride length, ambulatory time, gait speed, step count, cadence, stance time, arm swing on each patients.

The results showed that alterations in several of the gait parameters were associated with decline in memory, thinking and language skills, and visual perception of the spatial relationship of objects.

"The presence of gait disturbances increases with advancing age and affects the independence of daily living, especially in the elderly," said lead author Rodolfo Savica, neurologist at Mayo Clinic.

For the study, the researchers analyzed 3,426 cognitively normal participants who were between ages 70 to 89. The findings were published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

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