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Technique targets brain to stop falls

Australian researchers are exploring whether stimulating connections in a person's brain will help prevent them from falling over when they get older.

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) early-career research fellow Dr Ann-Maree Vallence – with funding from the NHMRC, the WA Department of Health and the Rebecca Cooper Medical Research Foundation – will use magnetic brain stimulation to identify and stimulate weakening structural connections in the brain.

Vallence said: “A common consequence of age-related declines in voluntary movement is a near-fall, which results in reduced activity and fear of falling, which in turn increases the likelihood of a major fall and injury.

“The outcomes of a major fall are obvious – loss of independence and admission to aged care. Improving voluntary motor control in the ageing population will have a significantly positive effect on families and communities.”

Click below to hear more from Ann-Maree Vallence.

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