PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Dual-task walking performance may be an early indicator of accelerated brain aging

2023-03-17
(Press-News.org) Boston, MA -- Walking is a complex task that is most commonly performed while completing other tasks like talking, reading signs, or making decisions. For most, after the age of 65, such “dual tasking” worsens walking performance and may even cause unsteadiness. Intriguingly, older adults that are more affected by dual tasking are at higher risk of suffering adverse health outcomes, including both falls and dementia.

 

A new research study published in Lancet Healthy Longevity has reported that the ability to dual task when walking starts to decline by the age of 55, up to a decade before ‘old age’ as traditionally-defined by the threshold of 65 years. What’s more, this decline in the ability to walk and talk at the same time was found to be caused not by changes in physical function, but instead by changes in cognition and underlying brain function.

 

“Our results suggest that in middle age, poor dual task walking performance might be an indicator of accelerated brain aging or an otherwise pre-symptomatic neurodegenerative condition,” said primary co-author Junhong Zhou, Ph.D., Assistant Scientist I, Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research. “We assessed a large number of individuals between the ages of 40 and 64 years who are part of a study called the Barcelona Brain Health Initiative (BBHI). We observed that the ability to walk under normal, quiet conditions remained relatively stable across this age range. However, even in this relatively healthy cohort, when we asked participants to walk and at the same time perform a mental arithmetic task, we were able to observe subtle yet important changes in gait starting in the middle of the sixth decade of life.”

 

“This means that a simple test of dual task walking, which probes the brain’s ability to perform two tasks at the same time, can uncover early, age-related changes in brain function that may signify an increased risk of developing dementia in later life,” said Zhou.

 

The research study, entitled “The Age-Related Contribution Of Cognitive Function To Dual-Task Gait In Middle-Aged Adults In Spain: Observations From A Population-Based Study,” was published in Lancet Healthy Longevity by primary authors Junhong Zhou; and Gabriele Cattaneo, Ph.D., Institut Guttmann, Institut Universitari de Neurorehabilitació adscrit a la UAB; and senior authors: David Bartrés-Faz, Ph.D., Institut Guttmann, Institut Universitari de Neurorehabilitació adscrit a la UAB; Alvaro Pascual-Leone, M.D., Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife; and Brad Manor, Ph.D., Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife.

 

The paper stemmed from a unique collaboration between researchers at the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute at Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston and the Guttmann Institut in Barcelona, Spain, where the population-based Barcelona Brain Health Initiative (BBHI) is being conducted. The Principal Investigator of the BBHI is Prof. David Batres-Faz from the University of Barcelona, and Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone, the medical director of the Deanna and Sidney Wolk Center for Memory Health, and a Senior Scientist at Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife, and who serves as Scientific Director of the BBHI.

 

“As compared to walking quietly, walking under dual task conditions adds stress to the motor control system because the two tasks (walking and mental arithmetic, for example) must compete for shared resources in the brain. What we believe is that the ability to handle this stress and adequately maintain performance in both tasks is a critical brain function that tends to be diminished in older age. Our study is important because it has discovered that changes in this type of brain resilience occur much earlier than previously believed,” said Zhou.

 

“Now, we have a clearer picture of age-related changes in the control of walking and how this relates to cognitive and brain health,” said Zhou. “Importantly though, while we observed that dual task walking tended to diminish with advancing age across the entire cohort, not everyone in the study fit into this description. For example, we observed that a portion of participants over the age of 60 years who performed the dual task test as well as participants aged 50, or even younger. This means that dual task walking performance does not necessarily decline as we get older, and, that some individuals appear more resistant to the effects of aging. We hope that our study will spur future research attempts to discover lifestyle and other modifiable factors that support the maintenance of dual task performance into old age, as well as interventions that target these factors.”

 

Findings: 996 people were recruited to the BBHI study between May 5, 2018, and July 7, 2020, of which 640 participants completed gait and cognitive assessments during this time (mean 24 days [SD 34] between first and second visit) and were included in our analysis (342 men and 298 women). Non-linear associations were observed between age and dual-task performance. Starting at 54 years, the DTC to stride time (β=0·27 [95% CI 0·11 to 0·36]; p<0·0001) and stride time variability (0·24 [0·08 to 0·32]; p=0·0006) increased with advancing age. In individuals aged 54 years or older, decreased global cognitive function correlated with increased DTC to stride time (β=–0·27 [–0·38 to –0·11]; p=0·0006) and increased DTC to stride time variability (β=–0·19 [–0·28 to –0·08]; p=0·0002).

 

This project was supported by La Caixa Foundation (grant number LCF/PR/PR16/11110004), Institut Guttmann, and Fundació Abertis. Junhong Zhou and Brad Manor are supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging (R01 AG059089–01 and 1K01AG075180–01).

 

Colaborating institutions included Institut Guttmann, Institut Universitari de Neurorehabilitació adscrit a la UAB, Barcelona, Spain and University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

About Hebrew SeniorLife
Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, was founded in 1903 and today is a national leader dedicated to empowering seniors to live their best lives. Hebrew SeniorLife cares for more than 3,000 seniors a day across six campuses throughout Greater Boston. Locations include: Hebrew Rehabilitation Center-Boston and Hebrew Rehabilitation Center-NewBridge in Dedham; NewBridge on the Charles, Dedham; Orchard Cove, Canton; Simon C. Fireman Community, Randolph; Center Communities of Brookline; and Jack Satter House, Revere. Hebrew SeniorLife also trains more than 1,000 future health care professionals each year, and conducts influential research into aging at the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research, which has a robust research portfolio whose NIH funding in 2021 places it in the top 10% of NIH-funded institutions. For more information about Hebrew SeniorLife, visit our website or follow us on our blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

About the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research
Scientists at the Marcus Institute seek to transform the human experience of aging by conducting research that will ensure a life of health, dignity, and productivity into advanced age. The Marcus Institute carries out rigorous studies that discover the mechanisms of age-related disease and disability; lead to the prevention, treatment, and cure of disease; advance the standard of care for older people; and inform public decision-making.

END


ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

New study counts the environmental cost of managing Japanese knotweed

New study counts the environmental cost of managing Japanese knotweed
2023-03-17
New Swansea University research has looked at the long-term environmental impact of different methods to control Japanese knotweed. The invasive species has been calculated to cost more than £165 million to manage every year in the UK alone. Its presence can blight property purchases for households across the country. This has led to the development of different ways of trying to control it but with sustainability becoming increasingly important, understanding the effect of these management methods is vital. A new study, led by biosciences lecturer Dr Sophie Hocking and looking ...

Discovery of an unexpected function of blood immune cells : Their ability to proliferate !

Discovery of an unexpected function of blood immune cells : Their ability to proliferate !
2023-03-17
The ability of a cell to divide, to proliferate, is essential for life and gives rise to the formation of complex organisms from a single cell. It also allows the replacement of used cells from a limited number of “stem” cells, which then proliferate and specialize. In cancer, however, cell proliferation is no longer controlled and becomes chaotic. Researchers from the GIGA Institute at the University of Liège have discovered that, in a healthy individual, certain blood immune cells, the monocytes, ...

Women working rotating shifts especially likely to be frail, York study finds

2023-03-17
March 17, 2023, TORONTO —  A new study led by researchers at York University has found a link between shift work and frailty among middle-aged and older workers in Canada, especially for women on rotating shifts.  While there is a large body of research suggesting the disruptions to circadian rhythms that shift workers experience are linked to various illnesses, this study was the first to take a comprehensive or “holistic” look at the connection between shift work and frailty.  “We cannot ignore the negative health outcomes related to shift work, including cardiovascular diseases, ...

Argonne hosts conference for undergraduate women in physics

Argonne hosts conference for undergraduate women in physics
2023-03-17
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory hosted an American Physical Society (APS) Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) on Jan. 20-22. The conference series, sponsored by DOE and the National Science Foundation, is designed to support undergraduate women and gender minorities in physics by connecting them with resources, community, information on graduate school and professionals in their field. It also provides students with access to other women in physics with whom they can share experiences, advice and ideas. The January 2023 event is one of 14 APS CUWiP events hosted across the country and ...

How can we tackle the biggest challenges? Ask a plant

How can we tackle the biggest challenges? Ask a plant
2023-03-17
LOS ALAMOS, N.M., March 16, 2023 — Without plants, we’d have no air to breathe or food to eat, yet plant science lingers in the shadowy wings while other fields take center stage. With the goal of shining the spotlight on plants, a new study presents the field’s top 100 most pressing questions for research to address the greatest challenges facing humanity. “The study highlights the importance of plant science for society by laying out myriad questions and technical challenges ...

Genes shed light on why men and women experience different depression symptoms

2023-03-17
Depression is widely reported to be more common in women than in men, with women twice as likely to receive a diagnosis than men. A new sex-specific study from McGill University has found that there are differences between male and female genes and how they relate to depression. In a study of more than 270,000 individuals, the researchers found that sex-specific prediction methods were more accurate in forecasting an individual’s genetic risk of developing depression than prediction methods that did not specify sex. The researchers found ...

Breaking barriers in hepatitis C diagnosis and treatment for populations at risk

Breaking barriers in hepatitis C diagnosis and treatment for populations at risk
2023-03-17
A study with people who inject drugs evaluated a minimally invasive test based on dried blood spots (DBS) for the monitoring of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The use of DBS samples for HCV RNA detection and genotyping was shown to effectively assess cure after treatment and to differentiate between reinfection and treatment failure. The results support the viability of decentralizing treatment and post-treatment monitoring for people who inject drugs, who frequently face challenges accessing the healthcare system. The study, which has been published in the Journal of Medical Virology, was carried out as part of a project with support from the "Conquering ...

UMass Amherst providing 30 three-year scholarships to boost diversity in mathematics and statistics

UMass Amherst providing 30 three-year scholarships to boost diversity in mathematics and statistics
2023-03-17
AMHERST, Mass. – University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics is offering 30 three-year scholarships to a diverse cohort of students majoring in mathematics and statistics, thanks to a $1.5 million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The six-year project, called Enhancing Underrepresented Participation in Mathematics & Statistics: Mentoring from Junior to Master’s, will welcome its first cohort in the Fall of 2023, and will support each student for their junior and senior years, as well as through a one-year master’s program. The program will accept ...

Carbon nanotube films as ultrasensitive photodetectors: progress and challenges

Carbon nanotube films as ultrasensitive photodetectors: progress and challenges
2023-03-17
Semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes (s-SWCNTs) are being used to develop a third generation of optimized shortwave infrared photodetectors that will improve pixel size, weight, power consumption, performance and cost over photodetectors made from traditional materials.   Ultrasensitive shortwave infrared photodetectors, which detect a subset of shortwave infrared light wavelengths outside of the visual spectrum, have many potential applications, including night surveillance, navigation during poor weather conditions, fiber optic communications and semiconductor quality control.  Shortwave ...

Mountain forests are being lost at an accelerating rate, putting biodiversity at risk

Mountain forests are being lost at an accelerating rate, putting biodiversity at risk
2023-03-17
More than 85% of the world’s bird, mammal, and amphibian species live in mountains,  particularly in forest habitats, but researchers report in the journal One Earth on March 17 that these forests are disappearing at an accelerating rate. Globally, we have lost 78.1 million hectares (7.1%) of mountain forest since 2000—an area larger than the size of Texas. Much of the loss occurred in tropical biodiversity hotspots, putting increasing pressure on threatened species. Though their rugged location once protected mountain forests from deforestation, they have been increasingly exploited since the turn of ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

12.5, the 1st Impact Factor of COMMTR released!

Circadian clock impact on cluster headaches funded by $2.4M NIH grant for UTHealth Houston research

Study identifies first drug therapy for sleep apnea

How old is your bone marrow?

Boosting biodiversity without hurting local economies

ChatGPT is biased against resumes with credentials that imply a disability — but it can improve

Simple test for flu could improve diagnosis and surveillance

UT Health San Antonio researcher awarded five-year, $2.53 million NIH grant to study alcohol-assisted liver disease

Giving pre-med students hands-on clinical training

CAMH research suggests potential targets for prevention and early identification of psychotic disorders

Mapping the heart to prevent damage caused by a heart attack

Study challenges popular idea that Easter islanders committed ‘ecocide’

Chilling discovery: Study reveals evolution of human cold and menthol sensing protein, offering hope for future non-addictive pain therapies.

Elena Beccalli, new rector of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, takes office on 1st July

Pacific Northwest Research Institute uncovers hidden DNA mechanisms of rare genetic diseases

Empowering older adults: Wearable tech made easier with personalized support

Pennington Biomedical researchers partner on award-winning Long Covid study

Cooling ‘blood oranges’ could make them even healthier – a bonus for consumers

Body image and overall health found important to the sexual health of older gay men, according to new studies

Lab-grown muscles reveal mysteries of rare muscle diseases

Primary hepatic angiosarcoma: Treatment options for a rare tumor

Research finds causal evidence tying cerebral small-vessel disease to Alzheimer’s, dementia

Navigating the Pyrocene: Recent Cell Press papers on managing fire risk

Restoring the Great Salt Lake would have environmental justice as well as ecological benefits

Cannabis, tobacco use, and COVID-19 outcomes

A 5:2 intermittent fasting meal replacement diet and glycemic control for adults with diabetes

Scientists document self-propelling oxygen decline in the oceans

Activating molecular target reverses multiple hallmarks of aging

Cannabis use tied to increased risk of severe COVID-19

How to make ageing a ‘fairer game’ for all wormkind

[Press-News.org] Dual-task walking performance may be an early indicator of accelerated brain aging