Slow gait speed: an early sign of subclinical neurological impairment and predictor of cognitive impairment

Takeaway

  • In older adults who walk slowly, having more frequent rests between activity can maintain physical function and reduce risk of developing future cognitive impairment.

Why this matters

  • In older adults, walking slowly is an early indicator of risk for Alzheimer’s disease; however, whether slow walking itself is linked with greater disease risk is unknown.
  • These novel findings suggest that in older people who walk slowly, lack of compensation could indicate subclinical neurological damage that already affects motor behavior and planning of physical activity. Identification of at-risk individuals would enable preventive interventions for Alzheimer’s disease.