Washington: Simple tests such as walking speed and hand grip strength may help doctors determine a middle-aged person’s susceptibility to develop dementia or stroke, according to a new study.The study found that middle-aged people with a slower walking speed and weaker hand grip strength were more likely to develop dementia or transient ischemic attack (TIA) compared to those who walked faster and gripped stronger.“These are basic office tests which can provide insight into risk of dementia and stroke and can be easily performed by a neurologist or general practitioner,” said Erica C. Camargo, MD, MSc, PhD, with Boston Medical Center.More than 2,400 men and women with an average age of 62 underwent tests for walking speed, hand grip strength and cognitive function. Brain scans were also performed. During the follow-up period of up to 11 years, 34 people developed dementia and 70 people had a stroke.The study found people with a slower walking speed in middle age were one-and-a-half times more likely to develop dementia compared to people with faster walking speed.
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