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ISSN: 2165-7025

Journal of Novel Physiotherapies
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Research Article

Falls in Parkinson Disease: The Relevance of Short Steps

Abraham Lieberman*
Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center (MAPC) at Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, USA
Corresponding Author : Abraham Lieberman
Director, Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center Barrow Neurological Institute
St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, USA
Tel: 602 406-3000
E-mail: [email protected]
Received March 17, 2014; Accepted April 16, 2014; Published April 18, 2014
Citation: Lieberman A (2014) Falls in Parkinson Disease: The Relevance of Short Steps. J Nov Physiother 4:209. doi: 10.4172/2165-7025.1000209
Copyright: © 2014 Lieberman A. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Falls are a major risk for Parkinson Disease (PD) patients. Between 2010- 2011 we followed 404 PD patients, 204 of whom, 50.5%, fell. We compared non fallers and fallers. Seventy one of the fallers, 35%, fell more than once. Fallers were significantly older, 72.6 + 5.8 versus 66.9 + 6.1 years, had PD significantly longer 9.3 + 3.4 versus 5.4 + 2.2 years. Fallers walked with significantly shorter steps: 0.45 + 0.09 versus 0.60 + 0.13 meters. Fallers walked with significantly slower steps 0.75 + 0.21 versus 0.90 + 0.31 meters/second. Fallers were significantly more likely to have freezing of gait.

Between 2011- 2012 we followed 401 PD patients, 205 of whom, 51.0% fell. Of these patients 161 fell once and 44 fell more than once (recurrent fallers). We compared single fallers and recurrent fallers. Recurrent fallers had PD significantly longer, 12.6 + 7.0 versus 5.9 + 4.5 years. They walked with significantly shorter steps 0.52 + 0.12 meters versus 0.31 + 0.12 meters. They walked significantly slower: 0.85 + 0.27 meters/second versus 0.51 + 0.14 meters/second. Freezing of gait was significantly more common in recurrent fallers. The significance of the shorter step in relationship to falling is discussed.

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