April 9, 2024 at 9:23 am

Scientists Discover That Talking Slowly Could Be A Strong Early Clue Of Dementia

by Jen Sako

Source: Pexels/Kindel Media

Forgetfulness is normal, but if your speech starts to slow down, it might be a sign of something serious, like dementia. A recent study from the University of Toronto found that talking slower could be a stronger early clue of dementia than just forgetting words.

Researchers tested 125 healthy adults aged 18 to 90 using video chats. They showed them pictures and asked them to describe what they saw.

Then, they used fancy computer stuff to analyze how fast people spoke, how long they paused between words, and how many different words they used.

They also gave them tasks to measure things like concentration and planning ability.

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Surprisingly, they found that older adults who talked slower tended to have more trouble with these tasks.

But some other scientists think these tests might not really show how people use language in the real world.

The tests involved showing pictures and playing sounds to see how quickly people could name things.

For example, they might show a picture of a broom and play a sound like “mop.” If you’re confused, you’re not alone. Again, even the experts aren’t sure if these tests are the best way to measure dementia risk.

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Instead, they suggest simpler tasks, like asking people to say as many words as they can think of in a minute. They also think asking people how they feel about forgetting words might be helpful or at least add some context. Everyone forgets their words sometimes.

So, if you’re worried about forgetting things or your speech slowing down, absolutley don’t panic. But maybe keep an eye on it, just in case.

And if you’re struggling, it might be a good idea to talk to a doctor. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

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