Hip Fracture in Older People Without Dementia May Be Sign of Undiagnosed Alzheimer’s

Hip Fracture in Older People Without Dementia May Be Sign of Undiagnosed Alzheimer’s
Abnormal levels of amyloid-beta and tau protein — two hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease — were detected in the cerebrospinal fluid of older  individuals without dementia who were hospitalized for hip fractures, a study shows. These findings suggest that alterations that can cause diminished balance in older people may underly both increased risk of hip-fracturing falls and Alzheimer’s disease, with hip fracture itself being a potential sign of undiagnosed Alzheimer’s. The study, “Abnormal CSF amyloid-β42 and tau levels in hip fracture patients without dementia,” was published in the journal PLOS One. One of the consequences of falls is hip fracture, with most (97%) occurring as the result of a fall. Hip fracture is associated with several complications including prolonged rehabilitation, loss of independence, and a one-year mortality of 26%. This suggests that a serious condition, linked with the fall that triggered the fracture, could be undiagnosed. While mounting evidence suggests that Alzheimer's is linked with gait disorder and falls in older adults without dementia, few studies have examined the prevalence of Alzheimer's in these patients. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine evaluated a group of hip fracture patients for underlying Alzheimer's pathology as shown by the presence of specific biomarkers in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) — the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The team also wanted to determine how often this pathology is observed in hip fracture patients without de
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