Dementia, Stroke Risk? Not Hard to Detect

Posted by: admin on: May 3, 2012

A large cohort study which is still in its nascent stage shows that slow walking in elderly was associated with lowering of cognitive functions and increased risk for stroke.

Team@CMHF

Walking speed and hand-grip strength during middle age correlated with cognitive function and stroke risk in older adults, suggesting simple tests might aid diagnosis of the two conditions, according to data from a large cohort study.
During 11 years of follow-up, slower walking speed at baseline was associated with a 50% rise in the hazard for dementia. Brain volume and performance on a variety of tests of cognitive function also were significantly lower in slower walkers.
Grip strength did not influence stroke risk in the overall cohort, but a higher baseline grip strength was associated with a 42% reduction in stroke risk among individuals 65 and older, as will be reported here in April at the American Academy of Neurology meeting.
“These are basic office tests [that] can provide insight into the risk of dementia and stroke and can be easily performed by a neurologist or general practitioner,” Erica C. Camargo, MD, PhD, of Boston Medical Center, said in a statement.
The findings came from an analysis of data from the Framingham Offspring Cohort, children of the original participants in the long-running study of the natural history of cardiovascular disease.
Camargo and colleagues analyzed data for 2,410 participants in the offspring cohort study, mean age 62, all of whom were stroke- and dementia-free at baseline. The initial workup included assessments of walking speed, grip strength, and cognitive function, as well as MRI scans of the brain.
During follow-up, 34 participants developed dementia, and 79 had strokes or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs). Slower walking speed had a significant correlation with:
Increased stroke risk Lower total cerebral volume
Poorer performance on tests of various aspects of memory Greater hand-grip strength was associated with a significant reduction in stroke risk
Acknowledging the need for more studies, Camargo and colleagues concluded that “walking speed and hand-grip strength might serve as clinical markers of the need for a more detailed assessment of brain function.”

Ref: http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/AANMeeting/31199?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DailyHeadlines&utm_source=WC&eun=g371326d0r&userid=371326&email=drsumanrao21@gmail.com&mu_id=

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