Volunteers wanted for falls study

A University of Dundee study looking to develop a fresh approach to reducing falls among people in old age is seeking volunteers in Angus.

The PREFACE study (Preventing Falls with ACE inhibitors) is looking at whether a group of commonly prescribed drugs known as ACE inhibitors, used for heart problems, may also improve muscles and balance and help reduce susceptibility to falls.

Dr Deepa Sumukadas, from the Ageing and Health division of the University’s School of Medicine, said: “One in three older people fall at least once each year. Falls are worrying for older people and their families and can have serious consequences like injuries, fractures, disability, and loss of confidence.

“Poor balance often contributes to falls. While exercise and balance training are useful, not everyone is willing or able to do this, so fresh approaches to reducing falls are needed.

“We think it is possible these ACE inhibitor drugs used for heart problems might also improve muscles and balance. As a first step in finding out whether this is correct, we are studying the effect an ACE inhibitor has on balance. If effective, this could provide a convenient and attractive treatment for older people at risk of falling.”

For more information phone Ageing and Health in Ninewells Hospital on Dundee 383086 during office hours.