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Falling 'could signify Alzheimer's'

Falling 'could signify Alzheimer's'
20th July 2011

Balance problems and falls may signify early Alzheimer's disease, scientists have warned.

Researchers at Washington University in St Louis found that participants who had brain changes suggestive of Alzheimer's disease were at a higher risk of falling than those with relatively healthy brains.

Brain scans of 119 over 65-year-old's revealed that 18 had high levels of amyloid plaques in the brain - an established hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. The remaining 101 participants had normal amyloid levels.

Lead author Susan Stark said: "If you meet these people on the street, they appear healthy and have no obvious cognitive problems.

"But they have changes in their brain that look similar to Alzheimer’s disease, and they have twice the typical annual rate of falls for their age group."

This follows news that eating grapes could potentially protect against Alzheimer's.

Research published in the Journal of Alzheimer's disease found that natural antioxidant grape seed polyphenols could prevent or delay the neurodegenerative condition.

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