Falls in Parkinson's disease. Causes and impact on patients' quality of life

Funct Neurol. Oct-Dec 2005;20(4):163-8.


The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of the different causes of falling in Parkinson's disease (PD) and to evaluate the influence of falls on patients' quality of life (QoL). We recruited 60 PD patients (31 with falls, 29 without falls). We found that falls were caused by: unstable posture (29.0%), freezing or festination (25.8%), sudden loss of postural reflexes (toppling falls) (25.8%), co-existing neurological disorders (6.5%), cardiological disorders (6.5%), and symptomatic orthostatic hypotension (3.2%). Duration of the disease was longer, its stage more advanced, daily levodopa dosage higher, and the proportion of patients with abnormalities in the EEG apparently greater in the group with falls. The presence of falls was found to be a factor contributing to a multidirectional negative impact on patients' QoL. QoL also depended on impairment of cognitive function, daily dosage of levodopa, disease duration, disease progression, and sex. The results of this study underline the need to diagnose the causes of falls in order to institute appropriate treatment and to improve patients' QoL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antiparkinson Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypotension, Orthostatic / physiopathology
  • Levodopa / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / complications*
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy
  • Parkinson Disease / psychology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sex Characteristics


  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Levodopa