“Falls are a major problem for people with Parkinson’s disease and can lead to injuries and reduced mobility, which can result in increasing weakness, loss of independence and increased use of nursing homes,” said study author Graham K. Kerr, PhD, of Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. “Despite these issues and their impact on the health care system and society, little research has been done to help predict which people with Parkinson’s disease are more likely to fall so we can try to prevent these falls.”
For the study, 101 people with Parkinson’s disease who were able to walk without any aids took a variety of tests evaluating their Parkinson’s symptoms, balance and mobility. The participants then reported any falls that occurred over a six-month period.
Most participants were in the early stage of the disease, with an average of six years since the disease was diagnosed. The majority of the participants (77 percent) had the type of Parkinson’s that is mainly affected by difficulty with voluntary movements, while 20 percent had tremors as the central symptom of the disease.
A total of 48 percent of the participants had a fall during the study and 24 percent had more than one fall. A total of 42 percent reported that they had fallen in the year before the study started.
The tests that were the best predictors of whether a person was likely to fall included a test of overall Parkinson’s symptoms, a questionnaire on how often people tended to “freeze” while walking, and a test of balance. When these tests were combined, the results produced a sensitivity of 78 percent and a specificity of 84 percent for predicting falls. Sensitivity is the percentage of actual positives that are correctly identified as positive, and specificity is the percentage of negatives that are correctly identified.
“These tests are easy to implement and take only a short time to complete,” Kerr said. “Once we can identify those at risk of falling, we can take steps to try to prevent these falls.” In the United States, it is estimated that about one million people have Parkinson’s disease.
The study was supported by Parkinson’s Queensland Inc., the Queensland University of Technology, and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.
The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 22,000 neurologists and neuroscience professAmerican Academy of Neurologyionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Rachel L. Seroka | American Academy of Neurology
The genes are not to blame
20.07.2018 | Technische Universität München
Targeting headaches and tumors with nano-submarines
20.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences