Slow walking speed plus memory complaints are predictors of dementia


Albert Einstein College of Medicine


Joe Verghese, MBBS, professor in the Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology and of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, chief of geriatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that up to 5.3 million Americans—about 1 in 9 people age 65 and over—have Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia. That number is expected to more than double by 2050 due to population aging. A simple, new assessment method diagnoses motoric cognitive risk syndrome (MCR), a predictor of Alzheimer’s. Testing for the newly described syndrome only requires a stopwatch and a few questions, so primary care physicians could easily incorporate it into examinations of their older patients. It could enable many more people to learn if they’re at risk for dementia, since it avoids the need for complex testing and doesn’t require that the test be administered by a neurologist. The potential payoff could be tremendous—not only for individuals and their families, but also in terms of healthcare savings for society.