Best Life: They way you walk can detect disease

Published: Feb. 24, 2022 at 7:41 AM CST
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ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Everyone has a unique walk and now research is showing your gait may reveal secrets about your health.

You probably don’t think much about it, but the way you walk can say a lot about your current and future health. Researchers are using sophisticated technology to see how changes in your gait could detect certain diseases early on.

“One of the most important characteristics that we know changes with the early Alzheimer’s is the speed at which you walk. So, with age, speed decreases. But there could be an acceleration in that decline which could happen about almost a decade before actual diagnosis of cognitive impairment,” said Mini Elizabeth Jacob, MD, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Glenn Biggs Institute at UT Health San Antonio.

Changes in walking patterns could spot other neurological diseases like Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and a condition known as normal pressure hydrocephalus.

A recent study also found that certain walking patterns are associated with the genetic disorders Fragile X and Shank3 deletion syndrome which are both linked to autism.

Some signs you may want to ask your doctor about include: slower movements, arms that don’t swing when you walk, a shuffling step, difficulty balancing, lots of falls and a hunched posture.

Here’s a fun fact about walking: the average person walks 65,000 miles in their lifetime. That’s equivalent to walking three times around the earth!

Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Writer and Roque Correa, Editor.

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