Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Looking at the way we walk can help predict cognitive decline

The way people walk is an indicator of how much their brains, as well as their bodies, are aging. Scientists reporting in a special supplement to the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (JAD) say that gait disorders, particularly ...

Neuroscience

Stroke patients relearning how to walk with peculiar shoe

A therapeutic shoe engineered to improve stroke recovery is proving successful and expected to hit the market by the end of the year. Clinical trials have been completed on the U.S. patented iStride device, which is licensed ...

Health

Nutrition concern for older adults at home

Researchers are calling for screening of vulnerable older adults at risk of poor nutrition and diminished physical performance, in an effort to identify those in need of dietary intervention.

Health

How fast you walk says a lot about your health

During a doctor's appointment, there's a few measures that quickly get a physician up to speed on our current health, such as measuring blood pressure and checking our BMI. But researchers say it could be helpful to add one ...

Health

Mental, not physical, fatigue affects seniors' walking ability

Low "mental energy" may affect walking patterns in older adults more than physical fatigue. New research about the relationship between walking ability and self-reported mood will be presented today at the American Physiological ...

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Gait

Gait is the pattern of movement of the limbs of animals, including humans, during locomotion over a solid substrate. Most animals use a variety of gaits, selecting gait based on speed, terrain, the need to maneuver, and energetic efficiency. Different animal species may use different gaits due to differences in anatomy that prevent use of certain gaits, or simply due to evolved innate preferences as a result of habitat differences. While various gaits are given specific names, the complexity of biological systems and interacting with the environment make these distinctions 'fuzzy' at best. Gaits are typically classified according to footfall patterns, but recent studies often prefer definitions based on mechanics. The term typically does not refer to limb-based propulsion through fluid mediums such as water or air, but rather to propulsion across a solid substrate by generating reactive forces against it (which can apply to walking while underwater as well as on land).

Due to the rapidity of animal movement, simple direct observation is rarely sufficient to give any insight into the pattern of limb movement. In spite of early attempts to classify gaits based on footprints or the sound of footfalls, it wasn't until Eadweard Muybridge and Étienne-Jules Marey began taking rapid series of photographs that proper scientific examination of gaits could begin.

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