Vol. 3 nº 4 - Oct/Nov/Dec de 2009
Original Article Páginas: 337 a 343

Characteristics of falls in mild and moderate Alzheimer's disease

Authors Eliane Mayumi Kato-Narita1, Marcia Radanovic2


keywords: falls, elderly, Alzheimer's disease.

The occurrence of falls in AD patients is frequent, and their consequences are cognitive decline, fractures and loss of independence. Many studies have addressed fall risk factors in order to establish effective prevention strategies. Objectives: We describe the frequency and characteristics of falls in a sample of AD patients and their main risk factors. Methods: We evaluated 40 subjects without cognitive impairment, and 45 AD patients, graded as CDR 1 and CDR 2. Results: Environmental hazard risks were the most frequent cause associated with falls in CDR 1 (41.4%) and CDR 2 (46.7%). Instability (31%) and dizziness (17.2%) were frequent causes of falls in the CDR 1 group, and this group showed the highest rate of recurrence (28%). In both groups of AD patients, indoors falls predominated (70.3 and 80% respectively for CDR 1 and 2). In our sample, the remaining factors studied were not associated with increasing risk for falls. Conclusions: These results reinforce the hypothesis that falls in AD are mutifactorial and that their risk factors are highly interconnected. Preventative strategies considering all aspects should be implemented most crucially eliminating environmental risks, maintaining constant presence of caregivers, and providing physical and functional stimulation, both in mild and moderate AD.


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