MS Patients, Mobility and Falls

MS Patients, Mobility and Falls

Impaired mobility is the most obvious symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS), and falls are very common. The life expectancy of MS patients has greatly increased —yet research on mobility and falls among older MS patients is scarce. Research by Roee Holtzer, Ph.D., suggests that the integrity and proper functioning of the brain, especially the prefrontal cortex, are critical for cognitive control of mobility. He has received a five-year, $3.5 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to identify brain systems of mobility in older adults with MS and determine whether brain function during active walking can be used to predict falls. In a study involving 120 older adults with MS and 120 controls, Dr. Holtzer will use functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy to measure prefrontal cortex activity and efficiency during active walking as well traditional neuroimaging methods such as MRI that assess the structural integrity of the brain. They hope their findings will identify biomarkers that can be modified to prevent falls. Dr. Holtzer is a professor in the Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology at Einstein. (1R01NS109023-01A1)

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