(American Geriatrics Society) 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…
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.
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.[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]