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Parkinson's Disease

Falling backwards

02/17/2009

Question:

I have Parkinson`s Disease. Three times in the last six months I have fallen backwards to the floor. In each instance I was conscious, no fainting but I couldn`t control my body. My head never hit the ground, and I got up easily with no damage to my body.Is this a symptom of Parkinson`s Disease

Answer:

Postural instability is one of the cardinal features of Parkinson's disease, which can result in spontaneous falling backwards when balance is lost. This symptom is minimally responsive to medications, and can be one of the more debilitating symptoms of Parkinson's disease that leads to requiring a walking assistant device to help lessen risk of falling. In addition, physical therapy and daily balance/walking exercises can often be helpful.  

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Response by:

Punit  Agrawal, DO Punit Agrawal, DO
Assistant Professor of Neurology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University