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Signs of Dementia Risk May be Detectable Early through observations of People’s hands: Doctor Galpin


A doctor has highlighted the potential significance of differences in grip strength between hands as an early indicator of neurological decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

According to Dr. Andy Galpin, a Professor of Kinesiology at California State University, grip strength could serve as a predictive biomarker for various health outcomes, including bone mineral density, fractures, falls, nutritional status, disease status, diabetes, depression, and cognitive impairment typical of early-stage dementia. Dr. Galpin discussed this research on the podcast Diary Of A CEO, hosted by Steven Bartlett, emphasizing that grip strength can offer insights beyond mere physical strength, potentially signaling early signs of declining brain function.

Dr. Galpin explained that muscle performance can provide valuable information about an individual’s overall physiological health, revealing potential signs of physiological stress even before they are felt. He highlighted the asymmetry in grip strength between the right and left hand as a notable example, suggesting that such discrepancies could serve as an early predictor of neurological decline. This observation stems from the fact that muscle contractions rely on signals from the central nervous system, including the brain and brainstem.

“If you’re experiencing significant asymmetry between your hands, defined as a difference of over 10 percent, it could be a cause for concern. For example, if your grip strength is 40 kilograms in your right hand, a 10 percent difference would be four kilograms. Therefore, if your left hand’s grip strength is 30 kilograms, which is more than a 10 percent difference, it could indicate an early sign of decline.

“Many people recognize the importance of grip strength as a predictor of health. There’s a noteworthy paper titled something along the lines of ‘Grip Strength: An Essential Marker of Aging,’ which emphasizes the significance of grip strength as an indicator that should not be overlooked.”

The research cited by Dr. Galpin is titled “Grip Strength: An Indispensable Biomarker For Older Adults,” published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information in the US. For individuals seeking additional information on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, both the Alzheimer’s Society and the NHS in the UK offer extensive resources.

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