Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How slow walking speed and memory complaints can predict dementia

At the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva  University, a study was conducted on five different continents between roughly 27,000 older aged adults that measured how fast those people walked and whether or not they have cognitive issues or not. For those of you that don't know what dementia is, it is a decline in mental ability severe enough that it affects and interferes with that person's daily life. Some symptoms of dementia are memory loss and their ability to focus or pay attention isn't really present. They found that 1 in 10 met the certain criteria for having pre-dementia based on this test listed above. The people who did test positive for pre-dementia were twice as likely as other people to develop full-blown dementia within the next 12 years. 

As to do with cognitive issues, this new test determines whether someone has motoric cognitive risk or not. To find out whether someone has this syndrome or not is done by a test which goes like this. It relies on measuring the gait speed which is our manner of walking, by simply asking a few questions about that patient's cognitive abilities. This isn't a big test that has to be done in a lab. It can simply be done in a doctor's office and only takes a few minutes. Diagnosing this early on in life is very important because then doctor's can identify it and treat the causes of the disease in the body or could even prevent dementia if it is really caught early enough. The payoff for this experiment could be very helpful not only to families and patients but also could benefit health care savings in our society. 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it estimates that close to 5.3 million Americans in the United States have Alzheimer's Disease. Alzheimer's Disease is the most common form of dementia. Around the year 2050, that 5.3 million is expected to double due to the aging of the population at that time.  MCR is common among 26,802 adults without dementia or disability that is 60 years of age or older enrolled in 22 studies in 17 countries. 9.7 percent of adults met the criteria for MCR syndrome. With MCR, higher educated people were less likely to test positive compared to those who are less educated. Walking 2.2 MPH is considered a "slow gait" which is slower than one meter per second. This is known as abnormal. 

Now comes the question of how to treat MCR but there are no treatable ideas to help them cure it? It is obvious that eating healthy and exercising on a regular, daily basis helps not only your body and health but also plays a contributing factor in reducing the rate of cognitive decline. To delay dementia from happening to you, scientists suggest you play board games, card games, read and write as much as you can. 

Finally, I never knew any of this could cause dementia and cognitive issues. It is interesting to learn about this stuff because you never know what life could throw at you when you become older. For further information on this topic, visit the site http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140725144455.htm . There are other websites and articles that talk about this as well such as http://healthland.time.com/2012/07/16/what-does-your-walking-speed-say-about-your-alzheimers-risk/ .  

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