Purpose

Falls and their consequences are among the major problems in the medical care of older individuals. The long-term goal of this research is to develop a mechanistically based therapeutic intervention to enhance muscle power, weight-shifting capability, and lateral balance function through protective stepping to prevent falls. When human balance is challenged, protective stepping is a vital strategy for preventing a fall during activities of daily life. Many older people at risk for falls have particular difficulties with successfully stepping sideways as a protective response to loss of balance in the lateral direction. Age-related declines in lateral balance function result from neuromuscular and biomechanical limitations in hip abductor-adductor muscle power generation. This study will test whether these impairments can be improved with high-velocity hip muscle resistance power training that will be more effective than conventional resistance strength training.

Condition

Eligibility

Eligible Ages
Over 65 Years
Eligible Genders
All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers
Yes

Inclusion Criteria

  1. 65 years of age or older
  2. Functionally independent
  3. Living in the community
  4. Generally healthy

Exclusion Criteria

  1. Cognitive impairment (Mini Mental Score Exam less than 24)
  2. Sedative use
  3. Non-ambulatory
  4. Any clinically significant musculoskeletal impairment
  5. Any clinically significant neurological impairment
  6. Any clinically significant cardiopulmonary impairment
  7. Any clinically significant metabolic impairment
  8. Any general medical problem that will interfere with testing or training
  9. Diabetes, renal, or liver disease by identified by routine chemistry

Study Design

Phase
N/A
Study Type
Interventional
Allocation
Randomized
Intervention Model
Factorial Assignment
Intervention Model Description
The investigators will compare changes in protective stepping, hip abduction and adduction muscle power and neuromuscular activation, balance and mobility function, and number of prospective falls between power and strength training groups.
Primary Purpose
Prevention
Masking
Double (Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Masking Description
All testing for Aims 1a and 1b will be conducted by individuals who are masked to subject intervention group assignment at baseline-testing, post-intervention testing, and retention-testing

Arm Groups

ArmDescriptionAssigned Intervention
Experimental
Power Training
Hip abductor-adductor resistance exercises at 75% maximum strength and maximum execution speed, 3, 1-hour training sessions per week for 12 weeks.
  • Other: Power Training
    Hip abductor-adductor resistance exercises at maximum execution speed
Active Comparator
Strength Training
Hip muscle abductor-adductor resistance exercises at maximum strength at reduced execution speed (2s concentric/3s eccentric), 3, 1-hour training sessions per week for 12 weeks.
  • Other: Strength Training
    Hip abductor-adductor resistance exercises at reduced execution speed

Recruiting Locations

VA Maryland Health Care System
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Contact:
Mark W. Rogers, PT, PhD
410-706-0841
mrogers@som.umaryland.edu

More Details

NCT ID
NCT03731572
Status
Recruiting
Sponsor
University of Maryland, Baltimore

Study Contact

Vicki L Gray, PhD
410-706-3778
vicki.gray@som.umaryland.edu

Detailed Description

Falls and their consequences are among the major problems in the medical care of older individuals. The long-term goal of this research is to develop a mechanistically based therapeutic intervention to enhance muscle power, weight-shifting capability, and lateral balance function through protective stepping to prevent falls. When human balance is challenged, protective stepping is a vital strategy for preventing a fall during activities of daily life. Many older people at risk for falls have particular difficulties with successfully stepping sideways as a protective response to loss of balance in the lateral direction. The investigators propose that age-related declines in lateral balance function through impaired weight transfer and protective stepping linked with falls, result from neuromuscular and biomechanical limitations in hip abductor-adductor (AB-AD) muscle power generation. Moreover, the investigators hypothesize that these balance and neuromotor impairments can be improved with high-velocity muscle resistance power training that will be more effective than conventional muscle resistance strength training. The specific aims are, Aim 1: To conduct a single blind, randomized, and controlled trial comparing the effects of 12 weeks of hip AB-AD muscle power training against strength training, and the rate of retention after 3 months of no training in community living older adults by determining a) the changes in neuromotor performance (kinetics, kinematics, muscle activation patterns) of pre-step weight transfer during waist-pull induced side stepping, and rapid voluntary reaction time (RT) sidestepping; and by b) the changes in isolated hip AB-AD muscle neuromotor performance. Weight shifting and stepping ability will be tested with different initial induced stepping limb load conditions, and by varying voluntary stepping limb selection certainty with simple and choice RT tasks; Aim 2: To compare the effectiveness of hip AB-AD muscle power and strength training in reducing the rate of prospective falls over a one-year monitoring period post-training. Secondary analyses will assess the number of in-task falls, and the effect of muscle power versus strength training on changes in functional balance and mobility. Overall, the studies are expected to establish support for the superiority of velocity dependent power training over strength training on enhancing muscle performance, protective balance control and functional mobility outcomes, and for the prevention of falls among older adults.

Notice

Study information shown on this site is derived from ClinicalTrials.gov (a public registry operated by the National Institutes of Health). The listing of studies provided is not certain to be all studies for which you might be eligible. Furthermore, study eligibility requirements can be difficult to understand and may change over time, so it is wise to speak with your medical care provider and individual research study teams when making decisions related to participation.