Rehabilitation of elderly patients at risk of falling: the value of psychophysiological parameters and cognitive-motor training using virtual reality

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Due to the slowing of the neurodynamic and cognitive processes, as well as changes in the musculoskeletal system that accompany aging, attention, reaction, and movement coordination are impaired in elderly patients. Decreased overall brain adaptability leads to an increased risk of falls and disability, thus reducing the age of active aging. According to the World Health Organization, 37.3 million falls occur annually that are not fatal but have serious consequences requiring medical attention. These falls are most common among people over the age of 65 years. An objective assessment of psychophysiological characteristics identified a correlation between the duration of simple and complex reactions and the risk of falls and served as a tool for evaluating the effectiveness of balance retraining. Studies have shown that cognitive-motor training improves postural stability and functional performance in daily life. This type of training is widely used to rehabilitate patients with balance disorders, and virtual reality systems are increasingly being used in its implementation. There is a theory that the virtual environment can improve responses to rapid environmental changes, as well as modulate various characteristics of attention, spatiotemporal memory, and planning, which favorably affects postural function. This review describes the changes in psychophysiological parameters in the elderly, as well as balance retraining techniques using cognitive-motor training, including the use of virtual reality technology.

About the authors

Anton S. Klochkov

Research Center of Neurology

Russian Federation, Moscow

Anastasia E. Khizhnikova

Research Center of Neurology

Author for correspondence.
Russian Federation, Moscow

Anna A. Fuks

M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University

Russian Federation, Moscow

Artem M. Kotov-Smolenskiy

Research Center of Neurology

Russian Federation, Moscow

Natalia A. Suponeva

Research Center of Neurology

Russian Federation, Moscow

Mikhail A. Piradov

Research Center of Neurology

Russian Federation, Moscow


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Copyright (c) 2020 Klochkov A.S., Khizhnikova A.E., Fuks A.A., Kotov-Smolenskiy A.M., Suponeva N.A., Piradov M.A.

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