Abnormal walking may be an early sign of. In a 21-year study of people over age 75, 43% of participants who had an abnormal gait, such as short-step shuffling or unsteady walking, developed non-Alzheimer's dementia over an average period of seven years. Only 26% of those with a normal gait developed dementia.

Theory: Vascular lesions, loss of nerve cells and other brain changes that alter movement patterns can also cause damage that may lead to dementia.

If you develop an abnormal gait: See your doctor for strategies to reduce your risk for dementia.

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