Results of a recent 48-patient study revealed a connection between vestibular dysfunction and the above-average fall risk of Alzheimer’s patients,
A hot topic brought to you by SpecialtyRx, your partner in long-term care
Vestibular dysfunction is a disturbance in the group of canals and bony structures deep in the inner ear. It can be caused by aging, viral infections or head injury.
Vestibular dysfunction can cause balance issues in healthy adults because the vestibular system helps orient people when they are moving. In the study conducted at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the Alzheimer’s patients with vestibular impairment were 50% more likely to fall than those without impairment.
If an Alzheimer’s patient is diagnosed with vestibular dysfunction, it can be treated with a physical therapy plan that includes balance exercises. A follow-up study to see how patients with dementia respond to this therapy is in the works. “At SpecialtyRx we are focused on doing everything we can to improve the quality of life for the residents of the skilled nursing facilities we serve. That includes sharing information on studies such as this one,” stated Joe Kubulak, Chief Operating Officer at SpecialtyRx.