aging


Mental fatigue impairs dual-task gait performance in old adults – A new risk factor for falls in the elderly?

Mental fatigue is a psychobiological state induced by sustained periods of demanding cognitive activity. Mental fatigue can negatively impact many aspects of daily life, such as workplace and physical exercise performance. Mental fatigue can manifest itself subjectively, behaviorally and physiologically. The subjective dimension includes increased feelings of tiredness and lack […]


Why does motor performance decline with aging?

Populations in many countries are aging as the proportion of people over 65 years is projected to increase over the next 30-40 years. Aging however, is accompanied by a reduced ability to perform daily tasks such as walking, rising from a chair and climbing stairs, ultimately impacting independence of living. […]


Muscle weakness or sarcopenia? Call it what it is! 1

The term ‘sarcopenia’ comes from ‘sarco-’, the Greek word for ‘flesh’ (muscle), and ‘-penia’ which denotes ‘deficiency’.  The original definition reflected this as ‘the degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass that accompanies ageing (0.5–1% loss per year after the age of 25)’ (Cruz-Jentoft et al., 2010).  However over time, the […]


Can the inevitable age-related decrement in motor unit number and stability be out run?

Aging is associated with reduced muscle mass and strength. This loss of muscle mass has been termed sarcopenia, meaning “poverty of flesh”.  The loss of muscle mass itself is insufficient to account for strength and power decrements during senescence, which has led to the introduction of the term ‘dynapenia’ to denote […]


2015 Highlights from the Motor Impairment Group at NeuRA

Members of the Motor Impairment Research Program conducted a randomized controlled trial to assess whether step training can improve physical and neuropsychological measures associated with falls in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). 50 people with MS participated in the trial in which intervention group participants (n = 28) performed step […]


Interview: Professor Simon Gandevia talks about Motor Impairment

Ahead of the second annual Motor Impairment meeting, Simon Gandevia, Deputy Director of Neuroscience Research Australia, talks about Motor Impairment; what it is and what he and his colleagues at NeuRA are investigating as part of the NHMRC-funded program grant.    


Documenting Motor Impairment and the risk of falling with ageing and in clinical groups

Ageing decreases exercise performance and is frequently accompanied by reductions in cognitive performance. Deterioration in the physiological capacity to stand, walk and exercise leads to falling over.  This can signify a serious deterioration in sensorimotor control.  In the elderly, falling leads to serious morbidity and mortality with major costs to society.  […]


Art and science: the benefits of dance in Parkinson’s disease

As a graduate student, I volunteered at my local community centre and the manager assigned me to run one of the weekly exercise classes offered to older people in the community. I found this experience highly rewarding and I was impressed by the enthusiasm of participants. The highlight of each […]


Interview with Professor Stephen Lord

Professor Lord’s research aims to enhance understanding of human balance and involves investigations of sensory and motor contributions, behavioural influences, environmental factors, as well as clinical populations and settings. Current studies are designed to investigate the physiology and biomechanics of standing, walking and stepping reactions. Fall risk factors and strategies […]