• Age-related differences in arm and trunk responses to first and repeated exposure to laterally induced imbalances

      Akinlosotu, Ruth Y.; Alissa, Nesreen; Sorkin, John D.; Wittenberg, George F.; Westlake, Kelly P. (MDPI AG, 2020-09-01)
      The objective of this study was to examine age-related differences in arm and trunk responses during first and repeated step induced balance perturbations. Young and older adults received 10 trials of unpredictable lateral platform translations. Outcomes included maximum arm and trunk displacement within 1 s of perturbation and at first foot lift off (FFLO), arm and neck muscle activity as recorded using electromyography (EMG), initial step type, balance confidence, and percentage of harness-assisted trials. Compared to young adults, older adults demonstrated greater arm and trunk angular displacements during the first trial, which were present at FFLO and negatively associated with balance confidence. Unlike young adults, recovery steps in older adults were directed towards the fall with a narrowed base of support. Over repeated trials, rapid habituation of first-trial responses of bilateral arm and trunk displacement and EMG amplitude was demonstrated in young adults, but was absent or limited in older adults. Older adults also relied more on harness assistance during balance recovery. Exaggerated arm and trunk responses to sudden lateral balance perturbations in older adults appear to influence step type and balance recovery. Associations of these persistently amplified movements with an increased reliance on harness assistance suggest that training to reduce these deficits could have positive effects in older adults with and without neurological disorders. © 2020 by the authors.
    • Fall and fracture risk in nursing home residents with moderate-to-severe behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias initiating antidepressants or antipsychotics

      Wei, Y.-J.; Simoni-Wastila, L.; Lucas, J.A. (Oxford University Press, 2017)
      Background: Both antidepressants and antipsychotics are used in older adults with behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Despite the prevalent use of these agents, little is known about their comparative risks for falls and fractures. Methods: Using 2007-2009 Medicare claims data linked to Minimum Data Set 2.0, we identified new users of antidepressants and antipsychotics among nursing home residents with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias who had moderate-to-severe behavioral symptoms. Separate discrete-time survival models were used to estimate risks of falls, fractures, and a composite of both among antidepressant group versus antipsychotic group. Results: Compared to antipsychotic users, antidepressant users experienced significantly higher risk for fractures (adjusted hazard ratio = 1.35, 95% confidence interval = 1.10-1.66). The overall risk of falls or fractures remained significant in the antidepressant versus antipsychotic group (adjusted hazard ratio = 1.16, 95% confidence interval = 1.02-1.32). Conclusions: Antidepressants are associated with higher fall and fracture risk compared to antipsychotics in the management of older adults with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias who experience moderate-to-severe behavioral symptoms. Clinicians need to assess the ongoing risks/benefits of antidepressants for these symptoms especially in light of the increasingly prevalent use of these agents. Copyright The Author 2016.
    • Protocol for serious fall injury adjudication in the Strategies to Reduce Injuries and Develop Confidence in Elders (STRIDE) study

      Ganz, D.A.; Siu, A.L.; Magaziner, J. (BioMed Central Ltd., 2019)
      Background: This paper describes a protocol for determining the incidence of serious fall injuries for Strategies to Reduce Injuries and Develop Confidence in Elders (STRIDE), a large, multicenter pragmatic clinical trial with limited resources for event adjudication. We describe how administrative data (from participating health systems and Medicare claims) can be used to confirm participant-reported events, with more time- and resource-intensive full-text medical record data used only on an "as-needed" basis. Methods: STRIDE is a pragmatic cluster-randomized controlled trial involving 5451 participants age ≥ 70 and at increased risk for falls, served by 86 primary care practices in 10 US health systems. The STRIDE intervention involves a nurse falls care manager who assesses a participant's underlying risks for falls, suggests interventions using motivational interviewing, and then creates, implements and longitudinally follows up on an individualized care plan with the participant (and caregiver when appropriate), in partnership with the participant's primary care provider. STRIDE's primary outcome is serious fall injuries, defined as a fall resulting in: (1) medical attention billable according to Medicare guidelines with a) fracture (excluding isolated thoracic vertebral and/or lumbar vertebral fracture), b) joint dislocation, or c) cut requiring closure