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Sunday, December 02, 2012

Walking Ability Linked to Dementia Risk in the Very Old

Two words - Anabolic Clinic (sm).
People older than age 90 years who are unable to walk are about 30 times more likely to have dementia than those of about the same age who can walk the fastest, according to a new cross-sectional study.

Researchers found that the relationship between declines in walking speed, grip strength, and balance and the odds of dementia were dose dependent: The slower the walking or the worse the grip strength, the higher the likelihood of having dementia.

The results suggest that poor physical performance is a risk factor for dementia, the authors conclude.

"This study is the first step in examining the relationship between physical performance and dementia in this age group known as the 'oldest old'," lead author Szofia S. Bullain, MD, clinical instructor and postdoctoral fellow in geriatric neurology, Department of Neurology, University of California, Irvine told Medscape Medical News.

Because this group is the fastest-growing segment of the population and has the highest rate of dementia, it's important to identify modifiable risk factors, she said.
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