The long-term objective of this research is a prophylactic approach that can reduce the incidence of falls and the resulting injuries among older adults at risk and thus reduce its escalating medical cost. This project explores perturbation training through the use of treadmill device and a motor learning approach, in which experience with slip-like perturbation generated by that treadmill is used to prepare the motor system to develop and then put to use fall-resisting skills outside of training environment (cross-environment transfer). The computer-controlled treadmill is portable, safe and easy to operate, thus conducive for use in clinics or community centers. The study logically builds on and complements the team's previous and current research programs, and will further test that after such a single session, older adults at risk can retain such cross- environment transfer and reduce their likelihood of falls in everyday living for the next 6 to 12 months. Finally, the study will explore that such reduction of falls does not come merely from these persons'familiarity with the training or testing setup, protocol and environments.

Public Health Relevance

Falls among older adults, whether or not resulting in an injury, often lead to decreases in mobility and self- imposed limitations on independence, daily activities, and socialization. Injuries resulting from falls such as hip fractures, on the other had, affect a broad range of elderly persons, not only the frail or impaired, but also those who are vigorous and active. The proposed research addresses this major public health concern;given the projected increase in the size of this population, such preventive measure could make a significant contribution to managing our nation's healthcare costs and improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
1R01AG044364-01A1
Application #
8627926
Study Section
Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Sciences Study Section (MRS)
Program Officer
Joseph, Lyndon
Project Start
2013-09-30
Project End
2018-06-30
Budget Start
2013-09-30
Budget End
2014-06-30
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$326,975
Indirect Cost
$121,975
Name
University of Illinois at Chicago
Department
Other Health Professions
Type
Schools of Allied Health Profes
DUNS #
098987217
City
Chicago
State
IL
Country
United States
Zip Code
60612