A very cool new study just published less than 2 weeks ago (who says this blog not bleeding edge-hahha) in the journal Neurology presented a correlation of poor gait (walking movement) with deterioration in the brain in older adults.
In the very near future, I predict via my cracked crystal ball we will have even more evidence that good quality movement will probably be shown to have wide spread neuro effects.
In a previous post about the brain and exercise, it demonstrated that exercise increased the formation of new brain cells!
Now we have further information that you need to get that gait of yours fixed! See this link for more info (note, price is going up as of April 15 also).
Of course I am biased since I do gait analysis, but here is the abstract to read for yourself. It should be noted that correlation does not prove causation, but very interesting!
Neurology. 2008 Mar 18;70(12):935-42.
Baezner H, Blahak C, Poggesi A, Pantoni L, Inzitari D, Chabriat H, Erkinjuntti T, Fazekas F, Ferro JM, Langhorne P, O'Brien J, Scheltens P, Visser MC, Wahlund LO, Waldemar G, Wallin A, Hennerici MG; LADIS Study Group andCollaborators (53)Mannheim University Hospital, University of Heidelberg, Department of Neurology, Theodor Kutzer Ufer, D-68135 Mannheim, Germany. firstname.lastname@example.org
OBJECTIVE: In the Leukoaraiosis and Disability (LADIS) Study, 11 European centers are evaluating the role of age-related white matter changes (ARWMC) as an independent determinant of the transition to disability in the elderly (65 to 84 years). We aimed at determining the influence of ARWMC on different objective measures of gait and balance. METHODS: Six hundred thirty-nine nondisabled individuals were prospectively enrolled and are being followed-up for 3 years. Subjects are graded in three standardized categories of ARWMC (mild, moderate, and severe) according to central MRI reading. Quantitative tests of gait and balance include the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB; range: 0 [poor] to 12 [normal]), a timed 8-m walk, and a timed single leg stance test. RESULTS: In cross-sectional analysis, deficiencies in gait and balance performance were correlated with the severity of ARWMC (SPPB: 10.2 +/- 2.1 in the mild, 9.9 +/- 2.0 in the moderate, 8.9 +/- 2.6 in the severe group; p <>
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support a strong association between the severity of age-related white matter changes and the severity of gait and motor compromise. Physical activity might have the potential to reduce the risk of limitations in mobility.