We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.

Advertisement
Among the oldest adults, poor balance may signal higher risk for dementia
News

Among the oldest adults, poor balance may signal higher risk for dementia

Among the oldest adults, poor balance may signal higher risk for dementia
News

Among the oldest adults, poor balance may signal higher risk for dementia

Read time:
 

Want a FREE PDF version of This News Story?

Complete the form below and we will email you a PDF version of "Among the oldest adults, poor balance may signal higher risk for dementia "

First Name*
Last Name*
Email Address*
Country*
Company Type*
Job Function*
Would you like to receive further email communication from Technology Networks?

Technology Networks Ltd. needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy

The number of people living well into their 90s is projected to quadruple by 2050. By mid-century, nearly 9 million people will be 90-years-old or older. In a first-of-its-kind study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researchers from the University of California at Irvine examined whether four different measures of poor physical performance might be linked to increased dementia risk for people aged 90 and older.


See Also: Is there a connection between heavy metals and aging?


Previous studies have shown that poor physical performance is linked to increased odds for dementia in people younger than 85. But until now, we didn't know whether a link between poor physical performance and dementia existed for people 90 and older.


The researchers examined 578 people aged 90 and older who were participants in The 90+ Study, a community-based longitudinal study—a research method that follows the same subjects repeatedly over a period of time—of the oldest-old in Southern California. Examiners see the participants every six months to conduct physical and neurological examinations as well as cognitive tests, with the goal of looking critically at aging and dementia specifically.


At the start of the study, about 50 percent of the participants were cognitively impaired (had trouble thinking or remembering), but did not have dementia. The rest were cognitively normal. Researchers followed the participants for 2.6 years and, during that time, almost 40 percent of participants developed dementia.


The researchers observed a unique link between dementia risk and poor performance on two different physical performance tests: the standing balance test and the four-meter (about 13 feet) walking test.


Don't Miss: Some chronic viral infections could contribute to cognitive decline with aging


The researchers suggested that, since walking and standing balance require complex brain activity, testing these functions may help doctors predict who among the "oldest-old" might be most at risk for developing dementia. The researchers also note that future studies could lead to the development of prevention programs and treatment strategies.


Note: Material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.


The American Geriatrics Society   press release


Publication

Bullain SS et al. Sound Body Sound Mind? Physical Performance and the Risk of Dementia in the Oldest-Old: The 90+ Study.   Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Published Online July 5 2016. doi: 10.1111/jgs.14224


Advertisement