Alzheimer’s is difficult to detect early, but changes can occur in the brain even years before symptoms show. Most seniors hospitalized for hip fractures showed signs of developing Alzheimer’s. Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore conducted a study where the spinal fluid of 168 patients that were hospitalized for hip fractures was examined, and it was found that 81 percent of the patients showed signs of mild cognitive impairment.
When checked for the biomarkers of Alzheimer’s, researchers found that up to 70 percent had abnormal levels of at a minimum one indicator of Alzheimer’s. This could mean that brain changes in seniors can lead to poor balance, more falls, and ultimately, hip fractures.
However, every senior with a hip fracture does not necessarily have Alzheimer’s. It does indicate though, that seniors who undergo hip repair surgery following a fall should be monitored to check for any cognitive issues. Hip fractures can lead to serious issues. Along with pain and a loss of mobility, this type of injury can greatly reduce one’s quality of life and lead to depression. Nearly a quarter of seniors have a fall once per year.
Staying active and regularly visiting your primary care services provider with any health concerns are some of the best ways to prevent falls. If necessary, consider using walkers or canes to assist with balance.
Falls may be an early warning of cognitive decline. It is important to assess your fall risk and take the proper precautions to prevent falling.
For more helpful health tips for seniors, visit NeighborMD, MSO Services, online.