Difficulties walking and talking at the same time among some participants of the study could be a sign of accelerated brain aging, lead researcher Junhong Zhou said in a press release."What we believe is that the ability to handle this stress and adequately maintain performance in both tasks is a critical brain function that tends to be diminished in older age."Nearly 1,000 adults in Spain were studied, including 640 who completed gait and cognitive assessments, researchers said Tuesday."However, even in this relatively healthy cohort, when we asked participants to walk and perform a mental arithmetic task at the same time, we were able to observe subtle yet important changes in gait starting in the middle of the sixth decade of life," Zhou said."Evidence suggests that aging alters each of these factors and thus leads to greater DTC [dual-task cost] to performance in one or both involved tasks," according to the study.The study also noted that "poor dual-task gait performance has been linked to risk of major cognitive impairment, falls, and brain health alterations in older adults," adding that the resutlsts "further suggest that dual-task walking is an important functional ability that should be routinely monitored starting in middle age."