Falls in persons with Parkinson's disease: Do non-motor symptoms matter as much as motor symptoms?


Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr.




ABSTRACT Falls are common among persons with Parkinson's disease (PD). On the other hand, predicting falls is complex as there are both generic and PD-specific contributors. In particular, the role of non-motor symptoms has been less studied. Objective: The objective of this study was to identify the role of non-motor predictors of falling in persons with PD (PwP). Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in PwP recruited from a movement disorders clinic. Clinical and demographical data were collected. All PwP were assessed using the Movement Disorders Society Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS) and the Non-Motor Symptoms Scale (NMSS). Variables were assessed at the bivariate level. Significant variables were put into a logistic regression model. Results: A total of 179 PwP were included. Overall, 16.8% of PwP had fallen in the past 12 months, with 53.3% of them being recurrent fallers. The mean number of monthly falls was 2.5 ± 3.3. Factors associated with falling in the bivariate analysis included the disease duration, Hoehn and Yahr stage, MDS-UPDRS part I and II, postural instability/gait disturbance (PIGD) subtype, NMSS urinary domain, NMSS miscellaneous domain, and non-motor severity burden (all p-values < 0.05). After multivariate analysis, only the disease duration (p = 0.03) and PIGD (p = 0.03) remained as independent risk factors. Conclusion: Disease duration and the PIGD subtype were identified as relevant risk factors for falls in PwP Non-motor symptoms appear to have a less important role as risk factors for falls.

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