These physical changes can predict the risk of dementia

from one Australian search It shows that measuring grip strength and mobility are two useful and inexpensive ways to measure dementia risk in older women.

In the study, nearly 1,200 females over the age of 70 were tested for grip strength using the device. The mobility test requires the person to get up from a chair, walk three meters, turn around, and sit on the chair.

Mark Sim, one of the researchers, shows how a grip strength test can help identify dementia. “Deterioration in neurological function can have a cognitive and motor component. Grip strength can surrogate known risk factors for dementia, such as cardiovascular disease, infections, and impairment.”

The health of the participants was followed for 14.5 years. At that time, approximately 17 percent of women diagnosed with dementia were hospitalized or died from a cause related to the disease.

While the researchers were unable to prove cause and effect, they did find a link between physical strength and mobility, and dementia events more than a decade later. Women who fell into the lowest category for grip strength or mobility were more likely to be hospitalized or die of dementia later in life.

Mark Sim: “Testing of grip strength and mobility is often not performed in practice, but they are cheap and simple tools to identify dementia early.”

This is why he advocates including these tests as part of dementia research. “It can help identify people who are at higher risk. Those people can then benefit from a prevention programme. Consider a healthy diet and a more active lifestyle,” says the researcher.

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Megan Vasquez

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