People with Parkinson’s disease (PD) are two times as likely to fall as other people their age. And while healthcare professionals recognize the extent of the problem, there is still a lot to learn about why they happen and what can be done to prevent them. Dr. Sotirios Parashos, Director of Research at the Struthers Parkinson's Center in Golden Valley, Minnesota, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, explains that preventing falls involves a team of professionals, including physicians as well as occupational and physical therapists. He describes the magnitude of the problem in Parkinson’s, what is being done to minimize the risk of falls, and what people with PD should ask of their healthcare team.
- Expert Briefing: Freezing or Sweating Falls When Walking with Parkinson’s Disease
- Fitness Counts
- Home Safety Tour Checklist
- Managing Parkinson’s Mid-Stride
- Expert Briefing: Gait, Balance and Falls in Parkinson’s Disease
For more insights on this topic, listen to our podcast episode “Freezing of Gait.”
For all of our Substantial Matters podcast episodes, visit parkinson.org/podcast.
About This Episode
Released: December 19, 2017
Falls can lead to fractures and other injuries, and the fear of falling can limit participation in activities. There are many causes of falls in Parkinson’s, but also many strategies to help prevent them.
Sotirios Parashos, MD, PhD
Dr. Sotirios A. Parashos is a movement disorders specialist with the Minneapolis Clinic of Neurology and Clinical Research Lead at the Struthers Parkinson Center, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence. He is also Clinical Professor of Neurology at the University of Minnesota. He completed his basic medical training at the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece; a two-year Fogarty Fellowship in Neuropharmacology at the Experimental Therapeutics Branch of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda, MD; a neurology residency at the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis, MN; a PhD in Experimental Physiology of the Nervous System at the Aristotle University; and an Advanced Clinical Fellowship in Movement Disorders at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. He serves on the Community Advisory Board of the Struthers Parkinson’s Center, on the Work Group for Parkinson’s Disease Physician Performance Measure Development of the American Academy of Neurology, and on the steering committee of the Parkinson’s Outcomes Project of the Parkinson’s Foundation. His research centers on non-dopa-responsive symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, such as falls and cognitive dysfunction, the natural history of Parkinson’s and the role of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary care in the management of Parkinson’s. He has co-authored many articles published in peer-reviewed journals and a book, Navigating Life with Parkinson Disease, and he has given numerous lectures on Parkinson’s to professional and lay audiences.