The Parkinson Alliances announces results of their 15th survey on “Falls and Fear of Falling in Parkinson’s disease for Individuals with and without Deep Brain Stimulation”.


The latest report on Falls in Parkinson’s disease has been released and is available here.

Falls are highly prevalent in PD and increase in frequency as PD progresses. Additionally, DBS appears to increase the risk of having a fall. Consistent with other research, the experience of falls has an adverse impact on psychosocial constructs, such as social interaction and emotional well-being. The implications are many and are highlighted within this report, such as routinely discussing fall prevention during doctor’s visits, and utilizing a multidisciplinary treatment team to help address symptoms related to falls.

1,153 individuals participated in the survey, including 334 with PD who underwent Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) and 819 with PD without DBS.



Some of the take home points of this study include:

  • Falls increase in frequency as PD progresses. It should be recognized that falls do occur early in the disease course for some individuals.
  • The most common factor contributing to falls was balance problems. Other factors contributing to balance problems include shuffling gait, freezing, festination (rapid steps), fatigue, vision problems, difficulties with cognition, elevated levels of depression and anxiety, and decreased arm swing.
  • After controlling for age and disease duration, individuals who have DBS have 2.52 times the risk of falling compared to individuals with PD who do not have Non-DBS.
  • Fear of falling is highly prevalent for individuals with PD, and fear of falling was greater in the DBS group than the Non-DBS group.
  • On Health-Related Quality of Life domains, the DBS group endorsed greater difficulties with mobility, speech, and stigma secondary to PD than the Non-DBS group.
  • The greater difficulty an individual has with mobility and completion of activities of daily living (routine activities that people tend do every day), the greater number of falls and increased fear of falling for both the DBS and Non-DBS group.
  • For the DBS group, in general, 97% indicated that DBS has improved quality of life, and 81% indicated that they are satisfied with the effectiveness of DBS.

What you can do

The Parkinson Alliance is currently looking for participants for its survey on “Sleep and Parkinson’s Disease:  A Comparison Between Individuals with and without Deep Brain Stimulation.”  There is no charge— all you have to do is provide your mailing address, complete and mail the survey back.  A paid return envelope is provided.  All information is confidential!  Here’s how you can contact The Parkinson Alliance to sign up to receive the latest survey.

Click here to learn why your participation is so important.

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