Preventing Falls

RESEARCH STUDY

PREVENTING FALLS IN OLDER ADULTS WITH COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT OR DEMENTIA

This study aims to determine whether an individualised exercise and home hazard reduction program can reduce the rates of falls in older people living in the community with cognitive impairment or dementia.

The Intervention program involves:-
• A personal exercise program to improve strength and balance and home hazard reduction program delivered by experienced therapists.
• Support and advice to carers to help their family member/friend to perform the exercises.

Note: As this is a research study only half of the participants will be randomly allocated to receive the intervention program and the other half will not. This will be determined randomly like when tossing a coin.

To participate, you must be:

  • 65 years of age or older
  • English-speaking (due to the assessments we use)
  • Community-dwelling or live in a retirement village
  • Living in the Sydney metropolitan area
  • With cognitive impairment or dementia
  • Has a family member or close friend with regular face-to-face contact (carer) >3.5hrs/week
  • No acute medical illnesses or progressive neurological disease such as Parkinson’s

This study will involve assessments of your fall risk, using measures of strength, balance, vision, reaction time and walking. You will be asked some questions about your general health, physical activities, medication use and falls history.

If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please contact the I-FOCIS Research Team on 02 9399 1851 or by email atiFOCIS@neura.edu.au

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Brain and Knee Muscle Weakness Study

Why Does Quadriceps Weakness Persist after Total Knee Replacement? An Exploration of Neurophysiological Mechanisms Total knee replacement is a commonly performed surgery for treating end-staged knee osteoarthritis. Although most people recover well after surgery, weakness of the quadriceps muscles (the front thigh muscles) persists long after the surgery (at least for 12 months), despite intensive physiotherapy and exercise. Quadriceps muscle weakness is known to be associated with more severe pain and greatly affect daily activities. This study aims to investigate the mechanisms underlying weakness of the quadriceps muscles in people with knee osteoarthritis and total knee replacement. We hope to better understand the relationship between the changes of the brain and a loss of quadriceps muscle strength after total knee replacement. The study might be a good fit for you if you: Scheduled to undergo a total knee replacement; The surgery is scheduled within the next 4 weeks; Do not have a previous knee joint replacement in the same knee; Do not have high tibial osteotomy; Do not have neurological disorders, epilepsy, psychiatric conditions, other chronic pain conditions; Do not have metal implants in the skull; Do not have a loss of sensation in the limbs. If you decide to take part you would: Be contacted by the researcher to determine your eligibility for the study Be scheduled for testing if you are eligible and willing to take part in the study Sign the Consent Form when you attend the first testing session Attend 3 testing sessions (approximately 2 hours per session): 1) before total knee replacement, 2) 3 months and 3) 6 months after total knee replacement. The testing will include several non-invasive measures of brain representations of the quadriceps muscles, central pain mechanisms, and motor function and questionnaires. Will I be paid to take part in the research study? You will be reimbursed ($50.00 per session) for travel and parking expenses associated with the research study visits. If you would like more information or are interested in being part of the study, please contact: Name: Dr Wei-Ju Chang Email: w.chang@neura.edu.au Phone: 02 9399 1260 This research is being funded by the Physiotherapy Research Foundation.  
PROJECT