Brain health and walking speed often decline together

Rearview shot of a young woman assisting her senior father walk at the park

Slower gait speed and cognitive decline may be related, according to a study published online April 12, 2020, by the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Scientists recorded the gait speed and cognitive health of 370 people in the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging (SALSA). Cognitive health was measured with a test that assessed orientation to time and place, attention, recall, language, and other aspects. Gait speed was measured with a timed 10-foot walk.

Following up after almost 10 years, the researchers found a direct link between slower speeds and lower cognitive scores. In fact, those who had both poor cognition and slow gait speed at the beginning showed the steepest decline. In comparison, those who had stable gait speeds over time scored well on the cognitive tests.

According to the researchers, cognition and gait speed may be altered by similar factors, such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and abnormal deposits of beta-amyloid and tau proteins in the brain, which are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 1 John 4:20 

Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life. Isaiah 43:4 

However, as it is written: What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived — the things God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9 

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8 

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1 

1 Corinthians 13:4-8  Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

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