Falls prevention in Parkinson's disease

October 12, 2011

A study carried out by the Primary Care Research Group at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and NIHR PenCLAHRC, has analysed the results of an exercise programme to prevent falls in those with Parkinson's disease.

The study was instigated because, to date, there are few trials that have examined the benefit of such interventions to people with . The research team used a to track the effectiveness of an exercise programme for people with Parkinson's disease who had a history of and reported a reduction in falls among those that received the intervention.

Despite limitations in the number of people who took part in the study, the research team was able to log significant improvements in balance, a decrease in the fear of falling and increased levels of physical recreational activity.

As a result, the findings of the study add to the evidence base for and exercise in the management of people with Parkinson's disease. Further studies involving a greater number of people with Parkinson's disease and a longer follow-up period will help to support this case, as well as identify which interventions work the best under which circumstances.

Up to two-thirds of people with Parkinson's experience falls each year: this compares with a third of the general community-based who experience falls. When a person with Parkinson's falls, the impact is widespread affecting patients, families and health and social care organisations. Falls and associated injuries are the main cause of among people with Parkinson's, resulting in extended hospital stays which put pressure on both the patient and the NHS.

Dr. Vicki Goodwin, PenCLAHRC Senior Research Fellow at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry and who conducted this study as part of her PhD funded by a NIHR Researcher Development Award, commented: "Ours is one of the first studies to seek evidence for the effectiveness of interventions, and as such it is an important step towards understanding the best ways in which to help those with Parkinson's disease both deal with and prevent further falls. As well as the physical effects of a fall, people with Parkinson's also suffer psychologically, often reporting a lack of confidence across the spectrum of everyday life activities, thus affecting quality of life."

She added: "It is clear that intervention programmes to prevent falls in those with Parkinson's disease do have the potential to work, but more research is needed before we have the knowledge necessary to recommend definitive approaches to this growing issue."

Explore further: Creatine Parkinson trial begins

Related Stories

Creatine Parkinson trial begins

March 26, 2007

A large-scale national clinical trial has started to learn if the nutritional supplement creatine can slow the progression of Parkinson's disease.

Family history of melanoma linked to Parkinson's disease

February 16, 2009

People with a family history of melanoma may have a greater risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 61st Annual Meeting in ...

Exercise reduces falls in older people

April 15, 2009

Exercise programmes are an effective option for preventing falls among older people living in the community. There is less evidence at present for the effectiveness of other interventions, such as home safety improvements ...

Tests help predict falls in Parkinson's disease

June 23, 2010

A group of tests may help predict which people with Parkinson's disease are more likely to fall, according to a study published in the June 23, 2010, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy ...

Recommended for you

Zika virus may persist in the vagina days after infection

August 25, 2016

The Zika virus reproduces in the vaginal tissue of pregnant mice several days after infection, according to a study by Yale researchers. From the genitals, the virus spreads and infects the fetal brain, impairing fetal development. ...

In sub-Saharan Africa, cancer can be an infectious disease

August 26, 2016

In 1963, Irish surgeon Denis Parson Burkitt airmailed samples of an unusual jaw tumor found in Ugandan children to his colleague, Anthony Epstein, at Middlesex Hospital in London. Epstein, an expert in chicken viruses and ...

Team discovers how Zika virus causes fetal brain damage

August 24, 2016

Infection by the Zika virus diverts a key protein necessary for neural cell division in the developing human fetus, thereby causing the birth defect microcephaly, a team of Yale scientists reported Aug. 24 in the journal ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Nerdyguy
not rated yet Oct 12, 2011
"Falls Prevention..."

Editings needed?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.