Falls are common and costly in older adults. Risk factors include deficits in gait and postural control, both of which are linked to cognitive impairments. These cognitive impairments may be attributed to a genetic predisposition. A previous study found that a genetic risk factor related to Alzheimer's disease (the ApoE-ε4 genetic variant) is also related to gait speed decline in older adults. No research has attempted to assess the impact of this variant on postural control in older adults. The purpose of this pilot study was to replicate the gait findings and extend these to measures of balance in older adults. Forty-six older adults, without a history of neurological disorder, were genotyped and had their gait and postural control assessed. Surprisingly, analyses showed lowered double-stance time for carriers than noncarriers of the ε4 isoform. However, no significant differences were observed between carriers and noncarriers for any other comparisons, including postural control scores. Results suggest that the ε4 isoform may affect gait, but not postural control.
|Journal||Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research|
|State||Published - Jun 2017|