Aging Worsens the Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Postural Control
by Rébecca Robillard, François Prince, Daniel Filipini, Julie Carrier
Falls increase with age and cause significant injuries in the elderly. This study aimed to determine whether age modulates the interactions between sleep deprivation and postural control and to evaluate how attention influences these interactions in the elderly. Fifteen young (24±2.7 y.o.) and 15 older adults (64±3.2 y.o.) stood still on a force plate after a night of sleep and after total sleep deprivation. Center of pressure range and velocity were measured with eyes open and with eyes closed while participants performed an interference task, a control task, and no cognitive task. Sleep deprivation increased the antero-posterior range of center of pressure in both age groups and center of pressure speed in older participants only. In elderly participants, the destabilizing effects of sleep deprivation were more pronounced with eyes closed. The interference task did not alter postural control beyond the destabilization induced by sleep loss in older subjects. It was concluded that sleep loss has greater destabilizing effects on postural control in older than in younger participants, and may therefore increase the risk of falls in the elderly.
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Syndicated from:PLoS ONE
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