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Physical performance linked to dementia

31st May 2006

Poor physical performance could be an indicator of the development of dementia and Alzheimer's disease among elderly adults, a new report has claimed.

According to findings from researchers at the University of Washington, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, there could be a significant association between low physical performance and cognitive impairment.

The researchers studied 2,288 people aged over 65 who did not have dementia between the mid-1990s and 2003, testing physical ability and the development of the disease.

It was discovered that with each one point drop on the physical performance scale came a corresponding rise in the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

"If confirmed, this study might also help explain the association of physical exercise with a reduced risk of dementia, suggesting that exercise, by improving and maintaining physical function, might benefit cognitive function through a connection between the two," the authors of the study concluded.

This may help early intervention to slow down the terrible effects of the illnesses.