Alzheimer's May Alter Walking Style by GarrettLawWA


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									                                 Alzheimer's May Alter Walking Style

A new study says that the way a person walks can be an early indicator of the onset of Alzheimer's
disease. Researchers released the study at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in
Vancouver Canada in July, saying that changes in how a person walks can occur even before the
person begins suffering from the cognitive decline associated with the disease.

The researchers say that subtle changes in the way a person walks begin, because walking and
movement involve different areas of the brain that must communicate with one another effectively. As
Alzheimer's disease begins affecting the brain and its ability to process information, the changes occur
because the disease interferes with the brain's ability to maintain effective communication with
different parts.

The researchers looked at several different studies which measured various aspects of how a person
walks, such as stride length, cadence, and velocity. One study found that people with decreased
cadences, length of stride, and walking speed had a much greater decline in their cognitive functions.
Another study showed that a person’s walking gait became much slower and variable as the brain lost
its cognitive functions.

Alzheimer's disease affects about 5.4 million people in the United States every year, and as the aging
baby boomer generation reaches old age, an estimated 50 million more people may be impacted by

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