Motor impairment predicts falls in specialized Alzheimer care units

Richard Camicioli, Lisa Licis
Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders 2004, 18 (4): 214-8
We sought to identify clinical risk factors for falls in people with advanced Alzheimer disease (AD) in a prospective longitudinal observational study set in specialized AD care units. Forty-two patients with probable or possible AD were recruited. Age, sex, Mini-Mental Status Examination, Clinical Dementia Rating Scale, Neuropsychiatric Inventory/Nursing Home, Morse Fall Scale (MFS), modified Unified Parkinson's Rating Scale (mUPDRS), and gait parameters using a GAITRite Gold Walkway System with and without dual-task performance were examined. Time to a first fall was the primary outcome measure, and independent risk factors were identified. Participating subjects were old (non-fallers age, 82.3 +/- 6.7 years; fallers: 83.1 +/- 9.6 years; p = 0.76) and predominantly women (36 female/6 male). Fallers did not differ from non-fallers on any parameter except the MFS (non-fallers: 35.6 +/- 26.1; fallers: 54.4 +/- 29.8; p = 0.04), the UPDRS (non-fallers: 4.75 +/- 3.98; fallers: 7.61 +/- 4.3, p = 0.03) and cadence (steps per minute: non-fallers: 102.3 +/- 12.3; fallers: 91.7 +/- 16, p = 0.02). Fallers and non-fallers were equally affected by dual-task performance. The hazard ratios for MFS, UPDRS, and cadence were not affected by adjusting for age, sex, MMSE, or NPI scores. In conclusion, falls in advanced AD can be predicted using simple clinical measures of motor impairment or cadence. These measures may be useful for targeting interventions.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"