Balancing act

CURTIN University is looking for seniors with mild cognitive impairment to participate in its world-first trial Balance on the Brain.

The large scale WA trial will investigate if innovative balance and movement exercises reduce cognitive decline, prevent falls, and improve quality of life in participants.

For older people with no cognitive issues, balance programs can reduce the risk of falling, however it is unclear whether they help those with mild cognitive impairment.

You can participate in Balance on the Brain if you are 50 or older, live in the Perth metro area, have been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or experience memory issues, and do less than 150 minutes of moderate activity a week and do not take part in regular balance training.

Lead researcher Dr Elissa Burton says the 396-person study may be ideal for those not wanting to participate in drug trials.

People with cognitive impairment tend to experience poorer mobility, balance and physical fitness, have poorer quality of life and greater depressive symptoms, according to research. 

They are 72 per cent more likely to fall and will use more health care services than those of the same age without cognitive impairment.

The trial is funded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and Curtin University.

It will take a year and participants will have conversations with a research officer about their age, health, memory and alcohol intake. 

To find out more go to balanceonthebrain.com or contact Dr Burton on 9266 4926.

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