Document Detail

Postural control in young and elderly adults when stance is perturbed: kinematics.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  1573188     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Increased postural sway and falling are associated with aging and are likely related to problems with postural control in the elderly. We investigated the motions of individual body segments in 24 healthy young adults and 15 healthy elderly adults (mean ages 26 and 72) in response to four tasks: (a) standing with feet flat on an anteriorly accelerating platform (Flat Translation); standing on a narrow beam support that was (b) stationary (Beam Standing) and (c) accelerating anteriorly (Beam Translation); and (d) standing on a rotatable but otherwise stationary springboard (Springboard Standing). An optoelectronic camera system was used to measure rotations of body segments, particularly regarding their maximum excursions, time to first rotation response, direction of initial rotation, and time to first rotation reversal. In general, larger rotation excursions were noted in the elderly compared to the young group, particularly in the Beam Standing and Beam Translation tasks, but the magnitude of rotation difference was small. All rotation magnitudes were well within the available ranges of motion of the body joints. In both excursion magnitudes and directions of initial rotation, the elderly showed greater variability than the young. In the Beam Translation task, the elderly group, compared to the young, tended to rotate their upper body segments more than in the Flat Translation task. These data suggest that healthy elderly adults with no apparent musculoskeletal or neurological impairments have small but consistent differences in postural control kinematics, particularly when more challenging conditions are presented. Moreover, these data provide the basis for biomechanical analyses of joint torques and other dynamic requirements of these responses.
N B Alexander; N Shepard; M J Gu; A Schultz
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of gerontology     Volume:  47     ISSN:  0022-1422     ISO Abbreviation:  J Gerontol     Publication Date:  1992 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1992-06-04     Completed Date:  1992-06-04     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0374762     Medline TA:  J Gerontol     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  M79-87     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan.
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MeSH Terms
Aging / physiology*
Postural Balance / physiology*
Reaction Time
Grant Support

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