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Balance problems may continue for sober alcoholics

A new Stanford study shows that long-term stability problems are common among sober alcoholics. Lead researcher Edith Sullivan, PhD, is quoted in an article from HealthDay News:

"...Even with prolonged sobriety, people with long-term chronic alcohol dependence can have difficulty in standing upright. Their balance can be marked by sway that exceeds what most of us experience while standing still in one place, especially with feet together and hands down by one's side, that is, without use of natural stabilizing factors."

The researchers also note in their paper, which appears in the online version of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, that certain stabilizing factors can help alcoholics:

"These factors can include simple aids like turning a light on in a dark room, touching a banister while walking down a flight of stairs, or walking or standing with feet apart rather than with ankles close together."

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