Research News

Is slow walking speed a symptom of Alzheimer’s?

December, 2015    |

According to a study published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, the speed at which elderly people walk may be related to their development of Alzheimer’s disease.


During this study, researchers conducted positron emission tomography (PET) scans to test the amount of amyloid plaque built up in the participants’ brains—excessive accumulation of this protein is associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease.


The study was based on 128 participants over the age of 76 who were expressing concerns about their memory but didn’t have dementia. Along with the PET scans, the patients underwent testing on their memory skills, ability to complete everyday activities, and walking speed. At the conclusion of the study, researchers found an association between slow walking speed and the presence of amyloid in several areas of the brain, including the putamen—a key region involved in motor function.