Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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JRRD Volume 46, Number 8, 2009

JRRD at a Glance

Age-associated striatal dopaminergic denervation and falls in community-dwelling subjects

Nicolaas I. Bohnen, MD, PhD, et al.

Striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) activity versus age and fall status: Nonfaller = open circles, single-time faller = black rhombus, recurrent faller = black triangle. Plot shows significant age-associated nigrostriatal dopaminergic denervation. Linear regression line is presented. No overall significant difference was noted in nigrostriatal dopaminergic activity between fallers and nonfallers.

Falls are common in the otherwise nondisabled elderly population. Dopamine is a brain chemical that is important for gait and motor functions. Normal aging is associated with a significant loss of dopamine activity in the brain. Whether loss of brain dopamine may be related to falls in the elderly is unclear. Brain dopamine activity was assessed in community-dwelling subjects who filled out a fall diary for 6 months. We found no significant difference in brain dopamine activity between single-time fallers and nonfallers. However, subjects who had more than two falls tended to have lower brain dopamine activity.

Volume 46 Number 8, 2009
   Pages 1045 — 1052

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