Movement patterns predict frailty and disability in the elderly

October 30, 2019

Elderly people who show more random changes in daily movement tend to be at greater risk of frailty, disability and death, according to a large study involving 1,275 individuals over the course of 13 years. The findings - based on a technique called fractal physiology - imply that analyzing daily motor activity could help predict wellness and health in the elderly population and spot people who might benefit from earlier interventions. Fractals are repeating, self-similar patterns that are often encountered in mathematics and the physical sciences. They are also relevant in biology and medicine; fractals can be used to understand the structure of biological tissues, and changes in fractal patterns in physiological measures (such as movement) can indicate the presence of diseases such as dementia. Peng Li and colleagues investigated whether a fractal physiology approach could be used to gauge long-term health outcomes in older individuals. They enrolled 1,275 elderly subjects (56 to 100 years old) and monitored their daily movement activity using activity monitors worn on the wrist. Using statistical models, the team made a striking observation: participants who showed greater random fluctuations in their motor activity over two time scales (between one and 90 minutes, or greater than two hours) had a higher risk of becoming frail or developing a disability that impaired daily activities over the next 13 years. The subjects with perturbed fractal motor activity also showed higher mortality: those in the lower tenth percentile of "normal" activity - who showed more random fluctuations - had an overall 1.6-fold higher risk of death compared to participants in the 90th percentile. The authors say fractal physiology could become a useful tool for health monitoring and spotting early signs of disability and disease before they become visible.
-end-


American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Science Articles from Brightsurf:

75 science societies urge the education department to base Title IX sexual harassment regulations on evidence and science
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) today led 75 scientific societies in submitting comments on the US Department of Education's proposed changes to Title IX regulations.

Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, biopharma, and pharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2018 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.

Science in the palm of your hand: How citizen science transforms passive learners
Citizen science projects can engage even children who previously were not interested in science.

Applied science may yield more translational research publications than basic science
While translational research can happen at any stage of the research process, a recent investigation of behavioral and social science research awards granted by the NIH between 2008 and 2014 revealed that applied science yielded a higher volume of translational research publications than basic science, according to a study published May 9, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Xueying Han from the Science and Technology Policy Institute, USA, and colleagues.

Prominent academics, including Salk's Thomas Albright, call for more science in forensic science
Six scientists who recently served on the National Commission on Forensic Science are calling on the scientific community at large to advocate for increased research and financial support of forensic science as well as the introduction of empirical testing requirements to ensure the validity of outcomes.

World Science Forum 2017 Jordan issues Science for Peace Declaration
On behalf of the coordinating organizations responsible for delivering the World Science Forum Jordan, the concluding Science for Peace Declaration issued at the Dead Sea represents a global call for action to science and society to build a future that promises greater equality, security and opportunity for all, and in which science plays an increasingly prominent role as an enabler of fair and sustainable development.

PETA science group promotes animal-free science at society of toxicology conference
The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. is presenting two posters on animal-free methods for testing inhalation toxicity at the 56th annual Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting March 12 to 16, 2017, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Citizen Science in the Digital Age: Rhetoric, Science and Public Engagement
James Wynn's timely investigation highlights scientific studies grounded in publicly gathered data and probes the rhetoric these studies employ.

Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, pharma, and biopharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2016 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.

Three natural science professors win TJ Park Science Fellowship
Professor Jung-Min Kee (Department of Chemistry, UNIST), Professor Kyudong Choi (Department of Mathematical Sciences, UNIST), and Professor Kwanpyo Kim (Department of Physics, UNIST) are the recipients of the Cheong-Am (TJ Park) Science Fellowship of the year 2016.

Read More: Science News and Science Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.