International researcher addresses impairments in mobility in aging and neurological disease

New avenues of research are revealing insights into the cause of impairments in mobility associated with aging and neurological disease. Biomechanist/biomedical engineer Jeffrey M. Hausdorff, PhD, will address some of these insights in a Research Colloquium on Dec. 5.

Sponsored by the Institute of Gerontology (IOG) and the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (EACPHS), Hausdorff’s presentation “Gait and Mobility in Aging and Neurological Disease: Brain-Body Connections” is scheduled from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in the EACPHS auditorium.

Hausdorff, director of the Laboratory for Gait and Neurodynamics at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Israel, will address some of the novel assessments and interventions which he has used to investigate age-associated changes in gait and postural control.

He will discuss issues such as gait variability and its relationship to unsteadiness and fall risk and the possibility of using these metrics as a biomarker of Parkinson’s disease in the prodromal state: advantages of body-fixed sensors and their potential utility in clinical and home settings; and the interplay between gait and executive function. Novel therapeutics approaches based on motor learning principles and virtual reality training will be summarized. Dr. Hausdorff also will discuss the implications of his findings for clinical researchers, neuroscientists, geriatricians and rehabilitation clinicians.

For further information, contact Cathy Lysack, IOG deputy director, email: or phone: (313) 664-2625 or Allon Goldberg, associate professor, EACPHS Physical Therapy, email: or phone: (313)577-8608. The college is located at 259 Mack Ave., entrance on Brady Street across from the Michigan Institute of Rehabilitation.

Hausdorff has a bachelor of science in biomechanics (Cooper Union), master of science in mechanical Engineering/biomechanics (MIT), and a PhD in biomedical engineering (Boston University). He completed a fellowship in geriatrics at Harvard University Medical School. He is a biomehanicist/biomedical engineer whose research attempts to provide understanding of balance mobility deficits associated with aging and with neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease. He has won numerous awards for his cutting edge integrative work and publications and presentations in the fields of geriatrics, gerontology, neurology, physiology and engineering. He has served as a study section reviewer at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Hausdorff is a reviewer for a number of journals and associate editor of the Journal of Gerontology Medical Sciences. His work has been funded by the NIH, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, and the European Union.

The Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, one of the founding colleges of Wayne State University, is committed to advancing the health and well-being of society through the preparation of highly skilled health care practitioners, and through research to improve health care practices and treatment from urban to global levels.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 400 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 32,000 students.

November 14, 2012

Media Contact:
Kathleen Karas, APR
Phone:   313-577-2312


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