Falls in an older person could mean more than poor balance or clumsiness. New research suggests they might be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease.
People who seemed to have healthy minds, but who were discovered to have hidden plaques clogging their brains were five times more likely to fall during a six-month study than others without these brain deposits. The deposits are a sign of Alzheimer's disease.
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis say their work suggests that older people who fall for no apparent reason should be checked for signs of dementia.
The study was discussed at an Alzheimer's conference in Paris.
(Sapa, July 2011)