Central Nervous System Disorders Affecting Mobility in Older Adults

Carol Li, Blessen C. Eapen, Carlos A. Jaramillo, David X. Cifu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In the aging population, the global burden of disease contributed by neurologic disorders is expected to double over the next decade. This further increases the importance of geriatric rehabilitation for central nervous system (CNS) disorders, which requires a highly individualized and integrative approach that creates an environment for the patient to learn new skills and optimize the performance of established skills to achieve optimal functioning. This chapter discusses physiologic and pathologic changes within the CNS system related to aging as well as the rehabilitation approaches for certain CNS disorders that affect mobility, including stroke, neurodegenerative diseases, traumatic brain injury, and idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus. Aging should never be considered as the primary cause of functional limitations or restriction of activities of daily living. Although the decline of auditory, visual, sensory, motor, and cognitive systems along with the presence of medical comorbidities may increase the risk of frailty and disability in the elderly, it is important to note that it is disease and/or injury, rather than age itself, which causes CNS problems. Other factors such as medication side effects and premorbid functional status can affect overall rehabilitation and functional outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGeriatric Rehabilitation
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780323544542
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Aging
  • Central nervous system
  • Gait impairment
  • Geriatric rehabilitation
  • Mobility
  • Neurologic disorders
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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