[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
January 22, 1982

Why Patients With Parkinson's Disease Fall

JAMA. 1982;247(4):515-516. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320290053035

PATIENTS with Parkinson's disease have more of a tendency to fall than those without the disease, particularly as the disease progresses. Because there are several categories of abnormalities that cause the parkinsonian patient to fall, one should try to identify the precise cause of and circumstances surrounding the fall in order to choose appropriate therapy. When the parkinsonian patient does fall, he often makes little or no attempt to catch himself and may incur serious injury.

Sitting  Sometimes when sitting without a back support—on a stool, bench, or the edge of a bed—the patient will spontaneously fall slowly backward. Therapy would comprise use of a back support, physical therapy, education (teaching patients to lean forward, to use their hands to hold themselves in a sitting position, and to place an object behind themselves to lean against), and medication.

Rising  The patient with Parkinson's disease frequently experiences difficulty with or inability