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Friday's Health Report: How a person's gait can show signs of neurodegenerative disease

1 month 4 days 8 hours ago Friday, June 14 2024 Jun 14, 2024 June 14, 2024 5:32 PM June 14, 2024 in Health
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Put one foot in front of the other. This simple gait test can tell a clinician a great deal, Mayo Clinic's Dr. Farwa Ali said.

The gait test can measure, for instance, how fast or slow a person walks compared to peers in their age group. It's then analyzed to assess whether a neurological problem is already present.

"For example, someone with Parkinson's may be walking slower, or may be walking with smaller steps and not moving their arms enough," Ali said.

Dr. Ali says many neurodegenerative diseases affect gait and balance before diagnosis. She is hopeful about improving ways to measure and quantify these.

"And my hope is, I think a lot of research needs to go into it yet, is to be able to detect abnormalities early, reliably, and to augment clinical diagnosis and help clinicians detect patients early and screen patients who may be at risk for neurodegenerative disease."

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