In a study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association’s annual International Conference it was found that old people who had signs of amyloid are more likely to fall than people who don’t suffer from brain amyloid. Amyloid in the brain is an early indicator of Alzheimer and this is the first study that has identified link between falls and pre-clinical Alzheimer disease.
Even thought earlier studies that have been conducted have shown that people suffer from mobility problems in early stages of Alzheimer; this is the first study that has linked falls with Alzheimer.
The study was conducted by Susan Stark who is the assistant professor of occupational therapy and neurology at Washington University in St. Louis. The study was conducted for 8-months on 125 older people who did not suffer from any memory problems but their scans revealed the presence of amyloid in their brains. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanning technique was used to detect the presence of amyloid in the brains.
People who participated in the study were asked to keep a journal that kept a track how many times they fell. Forty-eight people who participated in the study experienced at least one fall but those who had amyloid in the brains had more than double the risk of falling.
The results of the study can help in determining and understanding Alzheimer in its early stages. Some experts are of the view that people who suffering from amyloid in their brains can be given bone medication and physical therapy to minimize the risk of falling and help them balance their body. By help elderly people balance their body; older people can reduce the possibility of problems like premature institutionalization, long-term disability and injury-related death.