Walking may be a key clinical tool in helping medics accurately identify the specific type of dementia a patient has, pioneering research has revealed.
For the first time, scientists at Newcastle University have shown that people with Alzheimer’s disease or Lewy body dementia have unique walking patterns that signal subtle differences between the two conditions.
The research, published today in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, shows that people with Lewy body dementia change their walking steps more — varying step time and length — and are asymmetric when they move, in comparison to those with Alzheimer’s disease.
It is a first significant step towards establishing gait as a clinical biomarker for various subtypes of the disease and could lead to improved treatment plans for patients.
It is well known that wealth correlates with greater life expectancy and related measures such as improved health in later life. The question has always been why this is the case. Wealth correlates with a range of other factors such as education, intelligence, and so forth, all of which can be reasonably expected to influence health via lifestyle choices. In the case of intelligence, there is also some evidence to suggest that more intelligent people are also more physically robust, but the mass of evidence of genetics and longevity also suggests that effect size for genetic variation is small in comparison to that for lifestyle choice.
…researchers have tested 5500 middle-aged persons, using various ageing markers: physical capability, cognitive function and inflammatory level. The results were then compared with the participants’ income throughout the 22 years leading up to the test. An annual income of 60% below the median income is considered relative poverty. In this way, the researchers found that there is a significant correlation between financial challenges and early ageing.
People with diets rich in refined sugar may be increasing their risk of chronic inflammation. Research suggests that when people eat and drink less sugar, inflammatory markers in their blood decrease.
A high sugar diet can have harmful effects on health, such as increasing the risk of chronic diseases, weight gain, and tooth decay. It can also result in chronic inflammation, where the body’s immune system activates, resulting in damage to healthy cells.
Inflammation resulting from lifestyle factors, such as obesity, smoking, and a sedentary existence can contribute to a range of diseases. These include heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer’s.