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Balance disorders in the elderly


Sturnieks, DL and St George, RJ and Lord, SR, Balance disorders in the elderly, Clinical Neurophysiology, 38 pp. 467-478. ISSN 1388-2457 (2008) [Substantial Review]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2008 Elsevier Masson SAS

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.neucli.2008.09.001


Good balance is an imperative skill for daily life that requires the complex integration of sensory information regarding the position of the body relative to the surroundings and the ability to generate appropriate motor responses to control body movement. Balance calls upon contributions from vision, vestibular sense, proprioception, muscle strength and reaction time. With increased age, there is a progressive loss of functioning of these systems which can contribute to balance deficits. Balance disorders represent a growing public health concern due to the association with falls and fall-related injuries, particularly in regions of the world in which high proportions of the population are elderly. Falls present one of the most serious and costly problems associated with older adulthood. Falls can mark the beginning of a decline in function and independence and are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalisation in older people. One in three people over the age of 65 years who are living in the community experience at least one fall each year and 10-15% of these falls are associated with serious injury. In economic terms, the direct and indirect costs associated with falls are large and will grow as the proportion of older people increases. Consequently, understanding age-related changes in the physiological systems imperative to balance is of utmost importance to prevent falls in older people and reduce the injury-related burden on individuals and society. © 2008 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

Item Details

Item Type:Substantial Review
Keywords:balance, aged
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Sports science and exercise
Research Field:Motor control
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:St George, RJ (Dr Rebecca St George)
ID Code:121465
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:310
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2017-09-29
Last Modified:2019-08-28

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