[Attentional control of postural stability in institutionalised elderly people: effects of a physical exercise program].

E.A. 2991, laboratoire Efficience et Déficience Motrices, faculté des sciences du sport, université Montpellier-I, 700 avenue du Pic-Saint-Loup, 34080 Montpellier, France.
Annales de Réadaptation et de Médecine Physique 12/2006; 49(9):625-31. DOI: 10.1016/j.annrmp.2006.06.004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We aimed to examine the effect of a physical activity program on postural sway and on the attentional control of postural abilities in elderly frail adults.
Twelve older adults (age 81.4+/-9 years) institutionalised in a geriatric care institution participated in the physical activity program posture-balance-mobility (PBM) twice a week (1 hour per session) for 12 weeks. We analysed stabilometric data for surface and length of the center of pressure (COP) sway, with eyes open and eyes closed, under single-task and dual-task conditions on a firm floor before and after the training program. During the static postural evaluation and under the dual-task condition, subjects performed an attention-demanding cognitive task, the random number generation task.
Only the length of COP sway was more important under the dual-task condition than under the single-task condition (p=0.05). At baseline, cognitive performance was significantly weaker under the dual-task condition (standing) than under the single-task condition (seated), with eyes closed but not eyes open (p<0.05). However, after the training program, the performance of the cognitive task did not significantly differ between the dual-task condition with eyes closed and the single-task condition with eyes closed.
The training program allowed elderly subjects to improve their ability to perform an attention-demanding cognitive task while standing still, in particular with their eyes closed. Although balance seemed to be less stable under the dual-task condition than under the single-task condition, these results could be interpreted as an improvement of the attentional control of postural stability.

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May 29, 2014