24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
Fax: (361)578-5500
Regular Hours: M-Fri 8am - 5pm
Every 3rd Thurs of the Month - Extended Hours Until 7 pm

Alzheimers Disease and other Cognitive Disorders
Resources
Basic Information
Introduction & Causes of Cognitive DisordersDementiaAlzheimer's DiseaseOther Cognitive DisordersDementia Coping Skills & Behavior ManagementTraumatic Brain Injury (TBI)Conclusion and Resources
More InformationLatest News
Failing Kidneys Could Bring Higher Dementia RiskDementia Risk Rises as Years Lived With Type 2 Diabetes IncreasesHead Injury, Alzheimer's Appear to Affect Brain in Similar WaysBrain Injuries Raise Long-Term Risk of StrokeResearch Shows Links Between Gum Disease and Alzheimer'sAssisted Living Centers Can Do More for Dementia Patients, Experts SayDiminished Hearing, Vision Together Could Be Risk Factor for Dementia6 Steps to Reduce Caregiver StressLoneliness in Mid-Life Linked to Higher Odds for Alzheimer'sDrug Used in Cancer Patients Might Help Treat Alzheimer's'Non-Drug' Approaches Can Fight Depression in People With DementiaSuicide Attempts Spike Soon After Dementia DiagnosisCould a New Drug Help Ease Alzheimer's?AHA News: Dementia May Be a Risk Factor for Infection But Not Death From COVID-19Your Eyes May Signal Your Risk for Stroke, DementiaEven 1 Concussion May Raise Your Odds for Dementia LaterAlzheimer's Patients Are Being Given Too Many MedsMany Blacks, Hispanics Believe They'll Get Worse Care If Dementia StrikesAlzheimer's May Strike Women and Men in Different WaysHistory of Mental Illness Tied to Earlier Onset of Alzheimer's DiseaseAHA News: Black, Hispanic Families Hit Hardest by DementiaWhy Some 'Super Ager' Folks Keep Their Minds Dementia-FreeDementia Seen in Younger Adults Shows Even More Brain Damage Than Alzheimer'sToo Little Sleep Could Raise Your Dementia RiskSpecialist Care for Alzheimer's Is Tough to Find for Poorer, Rural AmericansTony Bennett's Struggle With Alzheimer's RevealedFluid-Filled Spaces in the Brain Linked to Worsening MemoryCOVID Vaccine Advised for Alzheimer's Patients, Their CaregiversAphasia Affects Brain Similar to Alzheimer's, But Without Memory LossCaregivers Feeling the Strain This Tough Holiday SeasonYears Before Diagnosis, People With Alzheimer's Lose Financial AcumenCould Dirty Air Help Speed Alzheimer's?Strong Sleeping Pills Tied to Falls, Fractures in Dementia PatientsAnxiety Might Speed Alzheimer's: StudyPre-Op 'Brain Games' Might Prevent Post-Op DeliriumDoes Hard Work Help Preserve the Brain?Staying Active as You Age Not a Guarantee Against DementiaSmog Tied to Raised Risk for Parkinson's, Alzheimer's DiseasePoor Brain Blood Flow Might Spur 'Tangles' of Alzheimer'sIs Apathy an Early Sign of Dementia?A-Fib Treatment Reduces Patients' Dementia RiskFall Risk Rises Even in Alzheimer's Early StagesPTSD May Be Tied to Greater Dementia RiskNew Research Links Another Gene to Alzheimer's RiskIs Rural Appalachia a Hotspot for Alzheimer's?Why Are Dementia Patients Getting Risky Psychiatric Drugs?Get Dizzy When Standing Up? It Could Be Risk Factor for DementiaCan Seniors Handle Results of Alzheimer's Risk Tests?More Education May Slow Start of Early-Onset Alzheimer'sUnder 50 and Overweight? Your Odds for Dementia Later May Rise
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Fall Risk Rises Even in Alzheimer's Early Stages

HealthDay News
by -- Steven Reinberg
Updated: Sep 21st 2020

new article illustration

MONDAY, Sept. 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In older people a fall can sometimes be a sign of oncoming Alzheimer's disease, even in the absence of mental issues, new research suggests.

Although falls are common among older people, in some cases they can be a sign of hidden mental problems that can lead to dementia, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Older people who have had falls should be screened for Alzheimer's, the study authors said.

"In the world of fall research, we generally say that you're at risk of falling if you lose strength and balance," said co-senior author Susan Stark. She's an associate professor of occupational therapy, neurology and social work.

"If you lose strength and balance, the recommended treatment is to work on strength and balance. But if someone is falling for another reason, maybe because his or her brain has begun accumulating Alzheimer's-related damage, that person might need a different treatment entirely," she explained in a university news release.

Stark said it's not yet clear what that treatment might be, but researchers hope the information will lead to new recommendations to reduce the risk of falls.

For the study, the researchers followed 83 people over age 65 for one year. All participants had normal thinking and memory at the outset, and kept monthly calendars recording any falls. Each person had brain scans to look for amyloid plaque (which has been tied to Alzheimer's) and signs of brain shrinkage.

The researchers found that amyloid in the brain alone did not put people at increased risk of falling, but neurodegeneration (brain shrinkage) did.

Participants who fell had smaller hippocampi brain regions devoted to memory. Those regions shrink in Alzheimer's. Brain networks involved in receiving sensory inputs and controlling movement also showed signs of decay, the findings showed.

Co-senior author Dr. Beau Ances, a professor of neurology and radiology and biomedical engineering, said, "Since I started working on this project, I've started asking my patients about falls, and I can't tell you how often that has helped me start understanding what is going on with the individual."

When mobility is being diminished, it could be a sign that something needs a closer look, Ances said.

Stark said a lot of falls can be prevented by simple changes in the environment. They include making sure the tub or shower isn't slippery; making sure a senior can get up easily off the toilet; balance and strength training; and reviewing prescriptions to see if any increase the risk of falling.

"Until we have specific fall-prevention treatments for people with preclinical Alzheimer's, there are still plenty of things we can do to make people safer," she said.

The report was published online Sept. 14 in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

More information

For more on Alzheimer's disease, head to the Alzheimer's Association.