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Title: Unraveling the Association Between SSRI Use and Falls: An Experimental Study of Risk Factors for Accidental Falls in Long-Term Paroxetine Users
Authors: Hegeman, Judith ×
van den Bemt, Bart
Weerdesteyn, Vivian
Nienhuis, Bart
van Limbeek, Jacques
Duysens, Jaak #
Issue Date: Oct-2011
Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Series Title: Clinical Neuropharmacology vol:34 issue:6 pages:210-215
Abstract: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are widely used to treat depression and are also associated with an increased falls risk. However, the biological mechanism underlying accidental falls with SSRI intake has yet to be elucidated. The present experimental study was designed to investigate whether obstacle avoidance skills in long-term (>90 days), senior paroxetine users (61 ± 5.8 years) are affected during gait, simple and challenging postural balance tasks, as well as during manual reaction time tasks. The performance of the paroxetine users was compared with healthy group-matched controls (60 ± 4.8 years). The results demonstrated impaired postural balance in the paroxetine users, especially during one-legged stance or under various dual-task conditions. Although the deficit in one-legged stance could indicate vestibular involvement, this was deemed unlikely because performance of standing on compliant surface with closed eyes remained unaffected. Paroxetine use also failed to affect manual reaction times or obstacle avoidance performance. It is suggested that paroxetine affects attentional capacities particularly in conjunction with balance control. Compared with healthy seniors, long-term senior users of paroxetine seem to be at an increased risk of falling due to impairments in balance control, especially when attention has to be divided between 2 concurrent activities.
ISSN: 0362-5664
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Movement Control & Neuroplasticity Research Group
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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