Balance training

HEALTH INFORMATION

Understanding the causes of falls and how to improve balance

WHAT WE KNOW

Balance training

Falls and fall-related injuries are one of the most common causes of ill health and morbidity in older adults and lead to functional impairment, disability, lower quality of life, and fracture.

Neuromuscular, or balance, training is undertaken in order to improve posture, prevent injury or as a form of rehabilitation. Balance training is helpful for improving standing balance and locomotor performance in older adults.

Decreased balance is attributable to an age-related decline in multiple physiological systems that contributes to decreased muscle flexibility and strength, reduced central processing of sensory information, and slowed motor responses.

In addition to an increased risk of falls, diminished balance and mobility may limit activities of daily living or participation in leisure-time activities. Accordingly, it is essential that balance exercises be incorporated into the physical activity programs of older adults.

As part of  promoting a series of 5 simple exercises that can be done at home to assist with the management of balance here is a video to practice the exercise just at home.

This exercise is more important during the colder months when people tend to be less active in winter, the hours of daylight are shorter and vitamin D deficiency is more likely.

OUR LATEST RESEARCH

Understanding and preventing physical and cognitive decline and falls in older people with dementia

Falls and functional decline are common in people with dementia. Falls are more likely to result in injury, death and institutionalisation when compared to older people without dementia. There is limited evidence that falls can be prevented in people with dementia. Strategies aimed at maintaining independence and preventing decline and falls are urgently needed. This research will a) further our understanding of fall risk and functional decline and b) explore novel fall and decline prevention programs, including the use of technology in older people with dementia.

Treating dizziness in older people

Despite effective treatments being available, up to 40% of older people with reported dizziness remain undiagnosed and untreated. A multidisciplinary assessment battery, with new validated assessments of vestibular impairments is required for diagnosing and treating older people with dizziness. This project will therefore aim to conduct a randomised-control trial of a multifaceted dizziness intervention based on a multidisciplinary assessment, and develop a multiple profile assessment of dizziness for use in Specialist Clinics.

Development of a take-home rehabilitation device that improves vision and balance in patients with i

This project will develop a rehabilitation device based on a training technique we invented, which has been shown to significantly normalise the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) response in patients with vestibular organ lesions.

What else is happening in Balance training research at NeuRA?

FEEL THE BUZZ IN THE AIR? US TOO.

During three decades on Australian television, two simple words brought us to attention.

‘Hello daaaahling’. Outrageous, flamboyant, iconic – Jeanne Little captivated Australians everywhere with her unique style, cockatoo shrill voice and fashion sense. "Mum wasn't just the life of the party, she was the party.” Katie Little, Jeanne’s daughter remembers. This icon of Australian television brought a smile into Australian homes. Tragically, today Jeanne can't walk, talk or feed herself. She doesn't recognise anyone, with a random sound or laugh the only glimpse of who she truly is. Jeanne Little has Alzheimer's disease. The 1,000 Brains Study NeuRA is very excited to announce the 1,000 Brains Study, a ground-breaking research project to identify the elements in our brains that cause life-changing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other dementias. This study will focus on the key unresolved question: why do some of us develop devastating neurodegenerative diseases, while others retain good brain health? The study will compare the genomes of people who have reached old age with healthy brains against the genomes of those who have died from neurodegenerative diseases, with post mortem examination of brain tissue taking place at NeuRA’s Sydney Brain Bank. More information on the study can be found here. Will you please support dementia research and the 1,000 Brains Study and help drive the future of genetics research in Australia? https://youtu.be/q7fTZIisgAY
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