Falls in frequent neurological diseases--prevalence, risk factors and aetiology.

Department of Neurology, Universitätsklinikum Kiel, Niemannsweg 147, 24105 Kiel, Germany.
Journal of Neurology (Impact Factor: 3.58). 02/2004; 251(1):79-84. DOI: 10.1007/s00415-004-0276-8
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The prevalence of falls among neurological patients is unknown, although disturbances of gait and posture are common. Falls may lead to burdens for the patient, the caregivers and the health system. We designed a prospective study and investigated all patients for a history of falls admitted to a neurological hospital during a 100-day period. Clinical investigation was carried out and several disease specific rating scales were applied. A total of 548 patients were investigated. Of all patients 34% had fallen once or more often during the last twelve months. A disturbance of gait was blamed for the fall in 55%, epileptic seizures in 12%, syncope in 10 % and stroke in 7%. Intrinsic risk factors for falls were high age, disturbed gait, poor balance and a fear of falling. As extrinsic factors we identified the treatment with antidepressants, neuroleptics and different cardiovascular medications, adverse environmental factors in the patients' home and the use of walking aids. Within the diagnoses, falls were most frequent in Parkinson's disease (62 %), syncope (57%) and polyneuropathy (48 %). According to these findings falls in neurological in-patients are twice as frequent as in an age-matched population living in the community. Falls in neurological patients are particularly linked to medication and disorders affecting gait and balance.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Balance control relies on accurate perception of visual, somatosensory and vestibular cues. Sensory flow is impaired in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and little is known about the ability of the sensory systems to adapt after neurological lesions reducing sensory impairment. The aims of the present study were to verify whether:1.balance rehabilitation administered in a challenging sensory conditions would improve stability in upright posture 2.the improvement in a treated sensory condition would transfer to a non treated sensory condition METHODS: Fifty three persons with MS, median (min-max) EDSS score of 5 (2.5-6.5), participated in a RCT and were randomly assigned to two groups. The Experimental group received balance rehabilitation aimed at improving motor and sensory strategies. The Control group received rehabilitation treatment which did not include training of sensory strategies. Persons with MS were blindly assessed by means of a stabilometric platform with eyes open, eyes closed and dome, on both firm surface and foam. Anterior-posterior and medio-lateral sway, velocity of sway and the length of Center of Pressure (CoP) trajectory were calculated in the six sensory conditions.
    Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 06/2014; 11(1):100. · 2.57 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Owing to a lack of data, our aim was to evaluate and compare the impact of various common neurological diseases on the risk for falls in independent community dwelling senior citizens. Prospective case-controlled study. General hospital. Of 298 consecutive patients and 214 controls enrolled, 228 patients (aged 74.5±7.8; 61% women) and 193 controls (aged 71.4±6.8; 63% women) were included. The exclusion criteria were as follows: for patients, severe disability, disabling general condition or severe cognitive impairment; for controls, any history of neurological disorders or disabling medical conditions; and for both, age below 60 years. A matching process led to 171 age-matched and gender-matched pairs of neurological patients and healthy controls. A 1-year incidence of falls based on patients' 12-month recall; motor and non-motor function tests to detect additional risk factors. 46% of patients and 16% of controls fell at least once a year. Patients with stroke (89%), Parkinson's disease (77%), dementia (60%) or epilepsy (57%) had a particularly high proportion of fallers, but even subgroups of patients with the least fall-associated neurological diseases like tinnitus (30%) and headache (28%) had a higher proportion of fallers than the control group. Neuropathies, peripheral nerve lesions and Parkinson's disease were predisposing to recurrent falls. A higher number of neurological comorbidities (p<0.001), lower Barthel Index values (p<0.001), lower Activities-Specific Balance Confidence scores (p<0.001) and higher Center of Epidemiological Studies Depression scores (p<0.001) as well as higher age (p<0.001) and female gender (p=0.003) proved to further increase the risk of falls. Medical practitioners, allied health professionals and carers should be aware that all elderly neurological patients seen in outpatient settings are potentially at high risk for falls; they should query them routinely about previous falls and fall risks and advise them on preventive strategies.
    BMJ Open 01/2013; 3(11):e003367. · 1.58 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The incidence of strokes in industrialized nations is on the rise, particularly in the older population. In Canada, a minority of individuals who have had a stroke actually receive intensive rehabilitation because most stroke patients do not have access to services or because their motor recovery was judged adequate to return home. Thus, there is a considerable need to organize home-based rehabilitation services for everyone who has had a stroke. To meet this demand, telerehabilitation, particularly from a service center to the patient's home, is a promising alternative approach that can help improve access to rehabilitation services once patients are discharged home.Methods/design: This non-inferiority study will include patients who have returned home post-stroke without requiring intensive rehabilitation. To be included in the study, participants will: 1) not be referred to an Intensive Functional Rehabilitation Unit, 2) have a Rankin score of 2 or 3, and 3) have a balance problem (Berg Balance Scale score between 46 and 54). Participants will be randomly assigned to either the teletreatment group or the home visits group. Except for the delivery mode, the intervention will be the same for both groups, that is, a personalized Tai Chi-based exercise program conducted by a trained physiotherapist (45-minute session twice a week for eight consecutive weeks). The main objective of this research is to test the non-inferiority of a Tai Chi-based exercise program provided via telerehabilitation compared to the same program provided in person at home in terms of effectiveness for retraining balance in individuals who have had a stroke but do not require intensive functional rehabilitation. The main outcome of this study is balance and mobility measured with the Community Balance and Mobility Scale. Secondary outcomes include physical and psychological capacities related to balance and mobility, participants' quality of life, satisfaction with services received, and cost-effectiveness associated with the provision of both types of services.Study/trial registration: NCT01848080.
    Trials 01/2014; 15(1):42. · 2.21 Impact Factor

Full-text (3 Sources)

Available from
May 27, 2014