Components of postural dyscontrol in the elderly: A review

Fay B. Horak, Charlotte L. Shupert, Alar Mirka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

731 Scopus citations


The concept of a generalized aging effect on a generalized balance mechanism is discussed, and an alternative, multicomponent approach to understanding the heterogeneity of postural dyscontrol in the elderly is presented. Neural sensorimotor components of normal postural control mechanisms are identified and discussed. The effects of Parkinson's disease, hemiplegia, cerebellar degeneration, peripheral vestibular loss, and other disorders on the components of postural control are summarized. Quantitative posturography is advocated to detect preclinical manifestation of multiple musculoskeletal and neuromuscular pathologies and reduced compensatory abilities in posturally unstable elderly adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)727-738
Number of pages12
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Ataxia
  • Falls
  • Neurologic disorders
  • Posture
  • Sensorimotor performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Aging
  • Developmental Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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