Keep Control is an EU-funded industrial academic initial training network towards specific diagnosis and treatment of age-related gait and balance deficits. It covers the entire range of expertise necessary and utilizes cutting-edge technology to educate 12 Ph.D. students in the area of gait and balance deficits in older adults.
Balance and gait deficits are ubiquitous among the older population and lead to enormous personal, occupational and healthcare burden. Emerging pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions to date have only small to moderate effects on these deficits. This is likely due to remaining fundamental questions on underlying mechanisms and treatment.
Keep Control consists of experts from clinical, biomechanics and neuroscience research, along with experts from the industry, who all aim at gaining a better understanding and treatment of balance and gait deficits in older adults. We aim to scrutinize aspects such as (1) comparability of balance and gait assessment in the clinic and the home environment, (2) gait and balance deficits as prodromal markers of neurodegeneration, and as markers to differentiate between Parkinsonian syndromes, (3) association between freezing of gait and balance, and (4) gait and balance deficits in patients with sarcopenia. Tools such as sophisticated lab-based gait and balance assessment devices, perturbation treadmill, wearable devices, electrophysiology and blood and tissue investigations will be implemented. We will further employ promising therapeutic strategies for specific gait and balance deficits in older adults, including both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic strategies.