Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center And ASU To Study And Prevent Falling Among Older Adults

Published: Friday, March 27, 2015 - 2:46pm

Every year, millions of Americans over the age of 65 fall. For some, falling can be attributed to a neurological condition like Parkinson’s disease. But for others, falling is the result of aging. Now, a new study is underway to study falls and ways to prevent them.

Dr. Abraham Lieberman, the director of the Muhammed Ali Parkinson Center in Phoenix, has a personal interest in falling. When he was six, he contracted polio. Though he recovered, his leg muscles remained weak, causing him to fall. Now Dr. Lieberman, along with researchers from Arizona State University, are launching a study they hope will improve the lives of older adults.

"One in three people over age 65 fall," he said. "And they estimated the cost, that is people coming in to emergency room, because a once you come into emergency room with a fall, this is independent of having a stroke or heart attack, you run up bills between $5-$10,000."

Lieberman said by partnering with ASU, they will begin to understand the mechanics of falling. 

"With special technologies that the people at ASU are developing and using with us," he said. "And we hope with these technologies we will, at minimum, be able to at least teach people that if they’re starting to fall, can you recognize that you’re starting to fall and how can you ameliorate the fall."

According to the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, falls are the leading cause for often costly trips to the hospital, and the leading cause of injury-related deaths in adults over 65.

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