An increase in the number of falls is an early indicator of Alzheimer's disease and is linked to a build up of amyloid in the brain – a hallmark of Alzheimer’s - according to research presented at the International Conference of Alzheimer's Disease.
Researchers at Washington University, Missouri in the US carried out cerebrospinal fluid and PiB PET scans on 114 older adults to record levels of tau in the spinal fluid and amyloid-beta in their brains - two common hallmarks of Alzheimer's.
Over five months, the number of times these people fell was recorded and the results revealed that people with amyloid-beta build up in the brain were 5.36 times more likely to experience a fall than healthy older adults.
Professor Clive Ballard, director of research at the Alzheimer's Society said: “Alzheimer's does not just affect a person's memory. It can also affect many other things, including spatial awareness, co-ordination and balance.
“If people are worried about their coordination, spatial awareness, or other symptoms linked to dementia it is important they speak to their GP.”