March 10th, 2009

“A simple balance test may predict cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s Disease, according to a study published in the March 2009 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

This study was carried out in 16 university hospital departments of neurology, geriatrics or psychiatry in ten cities with 686 outpatients suffering from AD. This population is representative of the AD population seen by clinicians in daily practice. Patients were evaluated by a geriatrician every six months for up to two years, and their degree of cognitive impairment was measured using the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). At the same time, a “one-leg balance” (OLB) test was given, where a participant was asked to stand on one leg for as long as possible. The OLB test was reported as abnormal when the participant was unable to stand on one leg for 5 seconds or more.

After I started stilt walking I sought to find ways to improve my balance without taking any more time out of my day. I found that I could practice balancing on one foot while shaving with an electric razor! By dipping, or bending at the knee, I could even do strength training. I found it a lot easier to integrate exercise into everyday habits like shaving, than to establish a new regimen.

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