Fractured hip may represent Alzheimer’s in elders


Alzheimer’s is a disease, which has no early signs to show. It only shows in the late years of age but the brain damage starts years before its clinical representation. Unfortunately, there is no such test to detect it early.

In this new study, old age people who were hospitalized for fractured hip were studied for their possible chances of Alzheimer’s.

The research center at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore investigated the spinal fluid samples from 168 patients. All of them were hospitalized due to hip fractures. The age range for these patients was 65 to 102 years old. More than 80% of the total samples were women.

The spinal fluid samples were collected before their surgery. All of them were analyzed for brain capacity through two tests; “Mini-Mental State Exam and the Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly”.

Among all these patients, only four showed slight signs of dementia. The rest were verified for mild cognitive impairment. 70% of them had no such problems at all. This 70% of people were studied for the said experiment.

This unaffected cognitive impairment group was studied in detail. The researchers checked biomarkers for Alzheimer’s for this group. To their surprise, 62 of the 70 patients showed abnormal levels one or multiple indicators of Alzheimer’s.

The reason may be that changes in the brain make a poor balance in elderly people. It further increases the risk of hip fractures but may also be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

Are all hip injuries due to Alzheimer’s?

The researchers emphasize that not all hip fractures are due to Alzheimer’s. But the risk is highest for elderly people with such fractures. The study emphasizes for post-surgical monitoring to note any cognitive issue.

Hip fractures are a serious health concern and the loss of mobility and pain surely affects the quality of life for a person. It may take months for complete healing. The post-surgical complications i.e. pain, scarring or infection may also show up. Older people are at extremely high risk of these complications, which may even lead to death.

Do you know that one-fourth of adults die within 12 months after a hip fracture and surgery?

How an early diagnosis will help?

There are no such options to diagnose Alzheimer’s at an early stage. There is not even a treatment to prevent or treat it on early onset of symptoms. The early diagnosis will only help the people to adopt lifestyle changes that may help to manage life with Alzheimer’s.

It also increases the chances of finding better treatment options. For example, there are many medicines that lead to cognitive loss. If the concerned person is at risk of Alzheimer’s through early diagnosis, he will never be suggested to use such medicines.

Do you know that the biggest reason for injuries and death in older US citizens is “falling”?

That is why prevention of any such thing by being mentally and physically active is extremely important. The seniors are advised to make safe moves and pay attention to their surroundings. Asking for help and using assisting devices can help to reduce the risk of all such injuries.



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Areeba Hussain
The author is a Medical Microbiologist and healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health.


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