A brain expert has described a test people can do to determine their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. 

Speaking to Steven Bartlett on the podcast Diary Of A CEO, Dr Andy Galpin, a Professor of Kinesiology (the study of movement) at California State University, explained that your grip could tell you about more than just your strength.

The expert said that muscle performance can be very telling of your overall physiological health. He said: “Most people are somewhat aware that grip strength is an incredibly important predictor. 

“In fact there’s a really cool paper, it’s titled something like grip strength is an indispensable marker of ageing, something like that, which is basically saying like you cannot not pay attention to grip strength.”

The study Dr Galpin was referencing suggested that grip strength could be a predictive biomarker of specific outcomes, including bone mineral density, fractures, falls, nutritional status, disease status, cognition, depression, sleep, and more.

However, Dr Galpin found that grip strength can also predict Alzheimer’s disease and dementia risk.

He said: “Some potential signs of either short-term or long-term physiological stress that’s happening – and you don’t necessarily feel it yet because you’re 35 or 45 and you don’t feel super weak – but we’re seeing these early signs.

“One other example – and I’ll caution to say there’s only been one paper on this – is the asymmetry in your grip strength. So the difference in strength between your right and left hand is actually an early predictor of neurological decline.

“In order for your muscles to contract they have to be sent a signal from your central nervous system, your brain and brainstem.

“If you’re having significant asymmetries from one side to the other, and by this they meant over 10 percent, so if you have a grip strength of 40 kilos on the right hand, 10 percent of that would be four kilos. So if your left hand is 30 kilos, that’s way more than a 10 percent difference – and that may be an early sign.”

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