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Executive Function Is Independently Associated with Performances of Balance and Mobility in Community-Dwelling Older Adults after Mild Stroke: Implications for Falls Prevention

Liu-Ambrose T.a, b, c, e · Pang M.Y.C.c, d, f · Eng J.J.c, d
aUBC Bone Health Research Group: Center for Hip Health, BC Women’s Hospital and Health Center Osteoporosis Program, Faculty of Medicine, bDepartment of Psychology and cSchool of Rehabilitation Sciences, Department of Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia, and dRehabilitation Research Laboratory, GF Strong Rehabilitation Center, Vancouver, and eSchool of Kinesiology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada; fDepartment of Rehabilitation Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, SAR, China Cerebrovasc Dis 2007;23:203–210 (DOI:10.1159/000097642)

Abstract

Background: Stroke survivors have a high incidence of falls. Impaired executive-controlled processes are frequent in stroke survivors and are associated with falls in this population. Better understanding of the independent association between executive-controlled processes and physiological fall risk (i.e. performances of balance and mobility) could enhance future interventions that aim to prevent falls and to promote an independent lifestyle among stroke survivors. Methods: Cross-sectional analysis of 63 adults who suffered a mild stroke >1 year prior to the study, aged ≧50 years. Results: Cognitive flexibility was independently associated with performances of balance and mobility in community-dwelling older adults after mild stroke, after accounting for age, quadriceps strength of the paretic side and current physical activity level. Conclusions: Clinicians may need to consider cognitive function when assessing and treating impaired balance and mobility in community-dwelling older adults after mild stroke.

 

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