Dr. Rahul Soangra
Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; and every 19 minutes, an older adult die from a fall. According to the CDC’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting (WISQARS), one in four Americans aged 65+ falls each year. In 2014, the total medical cost of fall injuries was $31 billion. These fall accident and injury statistics may remain unchanged unless an automated highly accurate mechanism for fall risk assessment is available. Having said that, the purpose of this research study is to identify fall prone elderly and prevent fall from occurring. Using sensory perturbations as an assessment tool, this study involved randomly perturbing participants while walking on the GRAIL (Gait Real-time Assessment and Interactive Laboratory consisting of virtual environment and treadmill). Five walking trials were performed which tested for somatosensory, vestibular and visual sensory organization while walking. We designed treadmill-based programs to provide perturbations to all three sensory systems- visual, vestibular and somatosensory during walking. We expect somatosensory and visual perturbed inputs together will influence stance time, double support time and swing times in the participants with high fall risk. We expect the stance time of the participants will increase significantly and the swing time will reduce, in order to maintain dynamic balance as an adaptive behavior.
Bhatti, Harbir, "GRAIL Based Sensory Perturbations - A New Tool to Assess Sensory Organization and Fall Risk During Walking in the Elderly" (2018). Student Research Day Abstracts and Posters. 277.