Reactive Balance Training for Fall Prevention

Reactive Balance Training for Fall Prevention

The objective of this pilot study is to evaluate and compare the effect of three different perturbation based training devices on the reactive balance control among healthy young adults, healthy older adults, and neurologically impaired stroke individuals. Furthermore, the project aims to determine the feasibility and tolerability of 30-minutes of perturbation training using the SureFooted Trainer. Overall, the project directs to find out the long term effect of training on fall risk reduction and fall prevention. This study investigates the effects of perturbation training (slip and trip) based on the principles of motor learning. Perturbations in the form of slips and trips induced by the three different types of perturbation devices will displace the center of mass outside the base of support and challenge the stability, thereby inducing a fall and demand compensatory strategies in order to prevent it. Such perturbation training would train the motor system to improve stability control and vertical limb support. The project design aims to examine the ability of the central nervous system to mitigate the interference in stability control (if any) that is induced by opposing types of perturbations. The hypothesis of this study if supported by the results, will provide the difference in motor learning with training on three different perturbation devices. Furthermore, it would help to determine which of the three training devices is the most effective in developing defense mechanisms necessary to reduce fall-risk among community-living older adults and the neurological population.

No pharmaceutical medication involved
Patients and healthy individuals accepted

Experimental: Treadmill training

Participants will be given thirteen slip and thirteen trip perturbation trials in stance (protocol for perturbation in stance) and during walking (protocol for perturbation in walking). Following the slip and trip training there will be two slip and two trip trials at a higher intensity as a post test assessment. Prior to the training, subjects would be consented if they would like to undergo fMRI which would be repeated again at the end of 3 day walk training protocol. Participants who are not more on

Experimental: Overground training

Slips and trips could be induced under either of the limbs. The specialized walkway consists of two sliding platforms, each of which is mounted on two rows of low friction linear bearings (friction coefficient = 0.02). The base plate of each platform is bolted separately onto the top of a force platform embedded in the floor. An electronic-mechanical latch system is used to control the 2 states of the support platform; that is, the "locked" state for regular walking and the "release" state to in more on

Experimental: Surefooted training

During the first minute of each block, subjects would experience no perturbations followed by 3 minutes of single or multi-directional perturbations. A one minute break between each condition would be provided. Subject's fatigue would be assessed by Fatigue severity scale to determine the tolerability of 30 minute training protocol. The expected duration to complete the test would be a maximum of 1 hour including the preparation and training time.

Reactive Balance Training for Fall Prevention: a Comparative Study of Three Different Perturbation Devices