Your Walk May Diagnose Dementia
Picture Credit: Newcastle University
Changes in the way you walk can reflect changes in the brain. Previous research has shown that subtle changes in walking pace can be an early indicator of dementia, but these tests have only been carried out in controlled environments. This week researchers at Newcastle University in the UK revealed early results using a wearable sensor attached to the lower back, which would allow results to be collected over a longer period and in real world circumstances. The sensor not only gathers the speed of walking but also variations in pace and sway. It’s hoped that this will create a deeper and more realistic picture of an individual’s walking style, so highly personalised diagnostics can be applied. Dementia is a silent disease in its early stages; changes in the brain can be taking place, with no outward symptoms until a decade later. Identifying early markers is essential for early intervention, which could delay the progress of the disease.