A test that measures one's balance may be an early indicator for Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study.
The test involves a one-leg balance exercise where a participant is asked to stand on one leg for as long as possible.
Researchers found subjects with an abnormal one-leg balance test were found to have more cognitive decline when compared to those who had better scores.
"Our results suggested that an abnormal OLB is a marker of more advanced dementia (worst baseline characteristic) and an independent predictor of cognitive decline in AD," wrote Yves Rolland, senior investigator from the University of Toulouse in France.
"Our results reinforce in an AD population, the growing evidence suggesting a link between physical performances and cognitive decline."
The study was carried out in 16 university hospital departments of neurology, geriatrics or psychiatry in 10 cities with 686 outpatients suffering from the debilitating disease. This slice of the population was representative of the AD population seen by clinicians in daily practice, said the researchers.
An estimated 5.2 million people in the U.S. are currently living with Alzheimer's disease. By 2030, it's estimated the number of individuals aged 65 and older with the disease will reach 7.7 million.