What Signs Highly Predict Dementia

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What Signs Highly Predict Dementia
What Signs Highly Predict Dementia

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What Signs Highly Predict Dementia

The combination of slowed gait and memory impairment in older adults may indicate a high risk of developing dementia. Assessing these two factors together predicts the onset of the disease much more accurately than individually.

What Signs Highly Predict Dementia
What Signs Highly Predict Dementia

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The combination of slowed gait and memory impairment in older adults may indicate a high risk of developing dementia. Assessing these two factors together predicts the onset of the disease much more accurately than individually. This is evidenced by a new study published in the JAMA Network Open.

To predict the risk of developing dementia, scientists take into account various health conditions in the elderly. For example, deterioration in mobility has previously been associated with an increase in this risk. But when such factors are considered separately, it is very difficult to predict the disease.

In a new study, researchers assessed how the risk of dementia increases when people over the age of 60 have both slowed gait and impaired memory. In their scientific work, the researchers included almost 8,700 people with an average age of 70-74 years. The participants were followed for 6-14 years, the scientists measured their walking speed and assessed memory. Deceleration of walking speed was considered to be a decrease in speed of 0.005 meters per second or more.

Study participants who only suffered from memory impairment had a 2.2-4.6 times higher risk of developing dementia in the future than people without the problem. Slowing down the gait increased the likelihood of dementia by 2.1-3.6 times.

The combination of slower stride and memory impairment was associated with a 5.2 to 11.7-fold increase in the risk of dementia.

In the findings of the study, the scientists indicate that the combination of these two factors has a high predictive potential. They believe that people with gait slowness and memory impairment are a group in which dementia prevention is needed.

The authors do not provide a precise answer as to why these factors are associated with the risk of dementia. They suggest that vascular and metabolic mechanisms are involved.

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