Slow Reaction Time and Death

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Have you had feelings of slowness lately? Does it seem that you aren’t as quick as you once were before? Erm. That’s bad. A new study suggests that adults with slow reaction times may have a higher risk of early death.

Just this month, a study was published that involved over 5,000 Americans. The British researchers asked the participants to press a button as soon as an image was displayed on a monitor screen to measure their reaction time. The participants’ scores were noted, and they were left alone for 15 years. When it was finally time for the follow-up, it was discovered that 7.4% of the participants had died. Notably, those with slower reaction times were more likely to die, with rates at a 25% higher risk than those with average reaction times.

To test the complete validity of their claim, they took a few other considerations into the equation, like age, sex, ethnicity, genes, and lifestyle. However, whatever factor they could take away from the basal equation, the verdict remained the same: those who had slower reaction times had a higher risk of dying earlier.

However, one should note the results are still limited as these only told a story about slow reaction times and death, and lacked a cause-and-effect link to add another dimension to the findings.

“In neuroscience, reaction time is one of the most primal indicators of the central nervous system’s health; the speed at which information is process can really tell a lot. People with faulty central nervous systems might find that health problematic. The research shows that survival can be predicted when we read between the lines, and dive into the most intricate details.”
Dr. Gareth Hagger-Johnson,
University College London

The research team believes that these results may have several applications that can be used in the future when dealing with health and survival. For example, reaction time might be used as an indicator and monitor of a person’s health. Maybe used as general tests in the hospital. Developments must be made towards this research to see whether the applications may be viable. However, Dr. Hagger-Johnson notes that for now, a healthy lifestyle is the best thing one can do to live longer.