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Brain Sci. 2017, 7(2), 19; doi:10.3390/brainsci7020019

Reducing Fall Risk with Combined Motor and Cognitive Training in Elderly Fallers

1
Clinical and Behavioral Neurology Laboratory, IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome 00179, Italy
2
Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin 10117, Germany
3
Engineering Ingegneria Informatica SpA, Rome 00185, Italy
4
Hospital General de Granollers, Barcelona 8400, Spain
5
Social Policy Center, Municipality of Kifissia, Athens-Kifissia 14562, Greece
6
Frontida Zois Home Care Agency, Patras 25002, Greece
7
Municipality of Stari Grad, Belgrade 11000, Serbia
8
Geriatric Department, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Gregorio Marañón, Madrid 28007, Spain
9
Benito Menni CASM, Sant Boi de Llobregat-Barcelona 08830, Spain
10
Klinisk Informatik, Aarhus 8000, Denmark
11
Knowledge Engineering & Machine Learning Group Computer Software Department, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya-BarcelonaTech, Barcelona 08034, Spain
12
Docobo Ltd., Bookham, Leatherhead KT23 4AA, UK
13
Singular Logic, Athens 145 64, Greece
14
Elettronica Bio Medicale S.r.l., Foligno 06034, Italy
15
Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Complutense, CIBERFES, Madrid 28040, Spain
16
The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa 56127, Italy
17
Systems Medicine Department, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome 00173, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kamen Tsvetanov
Received: 7 November 2016 / Revised: 27 January 2017 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk and Protective Factors for Neurocognitive Aging)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [620 KB, uploaded 10 February 2017]   |  

Abstract

Background. Falling is a major clinical problem in elderly people, demanding effective solutions. At present, the only effective intervention is motor training of balance and strength. Executive function-based training (EFt) might be effective at preventing falls according to evidence showing a relationship between executive functions and gait abnormalities. The aim was to assess the effectiveness of a motor and a cognitive treatment developed within the EU co-funded project I-DONT-FALL. Methods. In a sample of 481 elderly people at risk of falls recruited in this multicenter randomised controlled trial, the effectiveness of a motor treatment (pure motor or mixed with EFt) of 24 one-hour sessions delivered through an i-Walker with a non-motor treatment (pure EFt or control condition) was evaluated. Similarly, a 24 one-hour session cognitive treatment (pure EFt or mixed with motor training), delivered through a touch-screen computer was compared with a non-cognitive treatment (pure motor or control condition). Results. Motor treatment, particularly when mixed with EFt, reduced significantly fear of falling (F(1,478) = 6.786, p = 0.009) although to a limited extent (ES −0.25) restricted to the period after intervention. Conclusions. This study suggests the effectiveness of motor treatment empowered by EFt in reducing fear of falling. View Full-Text
Keywords: fall risk; fear of falling; elderly; motor training; cognitive training; executive functions fall risk; fear of falling; elderly; motor training; cognitive training; executive functions
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Barban, F.; Annicchiarico, R.; Melideo, M.; Federici, A.; Lombardi, M.G.; Giuli, S.; Ricci, C.; Adriano, F.; Griffini, I.; Silvestri, M.; Chiusso, M.; Neglia, S.; Ariño-Blasco, S.; Cuevas Perez, R.; Dionyssiotis, Y.; Koumanakos, G.; Kovačeić, M.; Montero-Fernández, N.; Pino, O.; Boye, N.; Cortés, U.; Barrué, C.; Cortés, A.; Levene, P.; Pantelopoulos, S.; Rosso, R.; Serra-Rexach, J.A.; Sabatini, A.M.; Caltagirone, C. Reducing Fall Risk with Combined Motor and Cognitive Training in Elderly Fallers. Brain Sci. 2017, 7, 19.

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