Improving the response to trips and slips in people with MS

Professor Stephen Lord

Neuroscience Research Australia, NSW

| Better treatments | Social And Applied Research | Incubator | 2018 | Investigator Led Research |
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Summary

People with MS are at a high risk for falls, but strategies to prevent falls are urgently needed. The team at NeurA have great expertise in falls prevention in the elderly and in other disease groups and have also been working on a major trial to improve balance and prevent falls in people with MS, view here. They are now turning their attention to helping people with MS recover from slips and trips that can also lead to dangerous falls.

In this pilot study, Professor Stephen Lord and his team will examine the relationship between balance recovery skill and falls history in people with MS, and assess the feasibility and potential efficacy of a reactive step training program as a fall-prevention strategy for people with MS.

He will recruit 40 people with MS and determine their history of falls over the past six months.

Before starting the training program he will assess the participants ability to recover from trips and slips by getting participants to walk through a specially designed platform that has hidden slip and trip hazards, whilst wearing a full body safety harness that prevents them from falling to the floor,. They will then be randomly separated into two groups. One group will undergo weekly training sessions for three weeks. These sessions are specifically designed to focus on recovering from trips and slips. The other group will undergo general exercise training program. Both groups will then repeat the assessment on the slip and trip hazard platform.

The data gathered during the exercise and assessment sessions will then be compared to explore mechanisms by which people with MS can improve their balance recovery responses and design a larger scale trial of a fall prevention program that could be easily integrated into clinical practice.

Updated: 10 January 2018

Updated: 02 January, 2018

Investigator

Co-investigator

  • Dr Yoshiro Okubo, Neuroscience Research Australia, NSW
  • Dr Phu Hoang, Neuroscience Research Australia, NSW
  • Dr Daina Sturnieks, Neuroscience Research Australia, NSW

Grant Awarded

  • Incubator Grant

Total Funding

  • $24,700

Duration

  • 1 year over 2018

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