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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Your Walking Manners Could Actually Predict Future Health Problems!

Walking is something that we do every day and most of the time, we don't take it too seriously. But a recent study discovered that how we walk could, in fact, have major health significance.

Even though most of us walk automatically, it is actually a complex task. Analyzing how a person walks, also known as gait, can predict future brain problems even before other signs show. It is done with the help of computers and motion sensors.

78-year-old Brenda Witters is one of the participants of the seven-year study on gait analysis at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She discovered that walking could be a significant health indicator, specifically when done simultaneously with another task.

"A simple thing like reciting the alphabet becomes a chore when you’re walking along with it and have to concentrate on two thing," Witters said.

The gait test records the participant's speed, posture, foot placement, while the researchers listen to what she is saying to determine if the brain is being strained by the mental and physical activity.

"It gives us a lot of information about how well the brain is functioning, how it responds to challenges," Dr. Joe Verghese, Professor of Neurology and Medicine at Einstein College, said. "It also gives us a lot of insight into neurological diseases that can affect gait."

Diseases such as Parkinson's, dementia, and stroke have specific gait patterns that can be diagnosed or predicted by analyzing a person's gait. It can also predict the possibility of falling with just some additional device.

Researchers already have a theory that while walking is an essential brain function, doing a brain training exercise especially on seniors can help improve their gait. Eventually, having predictions about a person's risk of having dementia or falling down can help delay or prevent such diseases.

Learn more about the recent study by visiting
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