Think Neuro

18. Preventing Fall and Tragedies that Come with Them with Dr. William Buxton

Episode Summary

“I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up.” That line is the source of countless jokes on late night television, but in real life, it’s anything but funny. One in three people over 65 fall each year. Those falls often lead to broken hips, and a quarter of elderly people who suffer a hip fracture die within a year, says Dr. William Buxton, a neurologist at PNI who specializes in preventing falls in people who are prone to them. There are many causes. Sedating medications have been linked to falls. Damage to nerves in the legs and feet from diabetes or excessive alcohol use can impair balance. A weak cardiovascular system can cause dizziness when standing up, too. There are so many causes, but there is one very good solution: exercise. Simple movement classes are great, says Dr. Buxton, and so is targeted physical therapy. Working with his colleague Dr. Verna Porter, Dr. Buxton has designed programs that have helped reduce falls among people with dementia, for whom fall prevention was considered impractical. Listen to this episode to learn why falls are no laughing matter, and how to prevent them. 310-582-7641