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Detecting Those at Greater Risk for Falls


October 6, 2014

It appears there is a strong correlation between balance and cognitive ability, according to a study by Indiana University. The findings seem to point out the following: The greater the degree of mental health and general awareness in a subject, the more likely they are to be physically balanced and exhibit less postural sway, and therefor be less likely to endure a serious fall. The goal of the study is to develop a simple questionnaire used by caregivers to quickly and painlessly suggest if a patient is at greater risk.

From Sciencedaily.com:
"…Motor control experts in the School of HPER's Department of Kinesiology are searching for a way to alert the elderly to when they become more at risk for falls before the falls occur — ideally developing a screening technique that can be conducted by physicians or other health care providers.
Kitano (lead author and doctoral student in IU Bloomington's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation) said the questionnaire used for their study could be conducted and scored by physicians and possibly other health care professionals. Patients could complete the questionnaire in around 15 minutes.
"It's an accessible, easy tool to identify people with risk," he said."

But is it cognitive ability that affects posture or the other way around? Only further research will tell us.

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