Fancy a brisk walk?

June 12, 2012 | By | Reply More

A brisk walk?

Slow walking speed or a decrease in walking speed in later life could be an indication of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) according to research published in Neurology today (Tuesday 12 June 2012). The American research measured the walking speed of 93 people aged 70 or older over three years. 54 of the participants had no cognitive impairment, 31 had non-memory related MCI and eight had memory-related MCI.


The results showed that people with non-memory MCI were nine times more likely to be slow walkers than moderate or fast walkers and also more likely to have fluctuation in walking speed over the three years.


Alzheimer’s Society comment:


‘We’ve heard before that slow walking speed could be an early indicator of dementia. While this small study doesn’t go as far as looking at a link with dementia it certainly does give us more food for thought. That’s not to say that people more partial to a gentle stroll than a power walk need to panic just yet. We still need to know a lot more before we can say exactly what this association means.


‘One in three people over 65 will develop dementia. However there are things people can do to reduce their risk. We recommend you eat a healthy balanced diet, don’t smoke, maintain a healthy weight, take regular exercise; and get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly.’


Dr Anne Corbett Research Manager Alzheimer’s Society


Research Reference: ‘In-home walking speeds and variability trajectories associated with mild cognitive impairment’ by Dodge et al in Neurology


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Category: Activities for Elderly, Alzheimer's Care, Dementia Care

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