Brain mechanisms of balance learning in aging

Activiteit: Supervision and examination of PhD students of the UGAcademic


Ageing is associated with a decline in the ability to maintain balance due to the structural and functional changes in the sensory and neuromuscular systems. At the same time, the neural control of posture seems to shift from spinal to cortical processes in old age. Given that balance impairments increase fall risks, an understanding of how the nervous system controls posture is important for the development of effective fall prevention programs. While balance training can improve balance performance by reducing sway in both young and old adults, it is unknown if exercise interventions can modify the neural control of posture in old adults. The primary objective of this research proposal is to determine the effects of both short bout as long term balance training on the neural control of standing sway in healthy younger and older adults and see if the learned balance skills are retained and transferred to other non-trained balance tasks after a one-week period of rest. The secondary objective is to examine if balance improvements in the form of reduced sway correlate with changes in measures of brain activation.
GeëxamineerdeLisanne Bakker
Mate van erkenningInternational