NeuRA Magazine #25


In the Winter issue, we welcome Professor Kaarin Anstey who, with her team, is working on understanding the risk factors for dementia prevention and developing lifestyle guidelines on how to reduce the risk of dementia. We also launch NeuRA’s Ageing Well Week, a special seminar series focused on helping us reduce the risk of dementia. We have also developed a special Ageing Well Kit which includes a 24-page booklet on how to reduce the risk of dementia and profiles the work of leading scientists in the field of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. In this issue, we also share news of the NeuRA Foundation’s Food for Thought Dinner and research that aims to prevent and treat dementia in Indigenous communities. The magazine also features news of an Australian-first study highlighting the importance of helmet safety in children under four who ride bicycles.

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StandingTall-Plus: a multifactorial program to prevent falls in older people

A cutting-edge research study on the effectiveness of a multifaceted program including balance exercise, brain training and cognitive behavioural therapy towards reducing falls. The StandingTall team, led by Associate Professor Kim Delbaere, has worked with over 500 community-dwelling older people since 2015, implementing a home-based balance exercise program delivered through a tablet computer. By embracing technology, we are providing an alternative exercise opportunity, which is engaging and using all the latest evidence to prevent falls. The program has been a success with our participants, evidenced by unprecedented levels of sustained adherence to prescribed balance exercises over two years. For our next research study, called “StandingTall-Plus”, we have added a cutting-edge brain training program to help people think faster on their feet during daily activities. We are also collaborating with the Black Dog Institute to offer online cognitive behavioural therapy to address depressive thoughts and low mood. All participants will be assessed using a comprehensive test battery of known falls risk factors across physical, cognitive and affective domains. This will then be used to offer each participant a fully tailored program that is suited to their abilities and circumstances. Our primary aim is to reduce the number of falls over a 12-month follow-up period when compared to a health promotion program. We are currently recruiting for the StandingTall-Plus research study, for more information visit: