Fall-related traumatic brain injuries in older adults: The role of the neck

Tobia Zanotto, Jacob J. Sosnoff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Upward of 80% of traumatic brain injuries result from a fall when the head impacts on the ground or other surface in older adults (> 65years of age). Commonly reported risk factors for fall-related traumatic brain injury include older age, female gender, polypharmacy, and impairments of cognition and vision, all of which are difficult to modify. Recent studies have suggested that potentially modifiable factors such as neck strength and range of motion, as well as activation of neck muscles in response to a sudden perturbation, may also be implicated in the etiology of fall-related traumatic brain injuries in older adults. Particularly, the progressive age-related deterioration of neck muscles’ function may compromise the ability to support the head during a fall and result in higher head acceleration which increases the risk of traumatic brain injury. Potential preventive and rehabilitative approaches which involve strengthening of the neck muscles, increasing range of motion, and teaching safe-falling techniques are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCellular, Molecular, Physiological, and Behavioral Aspects of Traumatic Brain Injury
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780128230367
ISBN (Print)9780128230602
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Accidental falls
  • Aging
  • Brain injuries
  • Head control
  • Neck
  • Neck muscles
  • Traumatic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Fall-related traumatic brain injuries in older adults: The role of the neck'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this