Clinical Edge

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Identifying PSP Patients Who Are at Risk for Falls

Parkinsonism Relat Disord; ePub 2016 Dec 15; Bluett, et al

The clinical parameters identified as associated with increased frequency of falls improve understanding of why they occur and may help identify progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) patients without dementia who are at risk for increasing falls, a recent study found. Researchers collected comprehensive clinical data from 339 PSP patients without dementia meeting the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Society for PSP (NINDS-SPSP) criteria. They were divided into 2 groups: Infrequent Fallers (IF; n=118) with rare falls, and Frequent Fallers (FF; n=221) who fell occasionally to multiple times a day. Of 198 clinical parameters, researchers hypothesized 38 to be correlated with an increasing risk of falls. They found:

  • 25 of 38 parameters analyzed were significantly associated with fall frequency based on univariate analysis.
  • Symptom duration, clinical measures of disease severity, and several motoric and oculomotor clinical parameters were associated with FF.
  • Examined cognitive parameters and slowing of vertical saccades were not.


Bluett B, Litvan I, Cheng S, et al. Understanding falls in progressive supranuclear palsy. [Published online ahead of print December 15, 2016]. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. doi:10.1016/j.parkreldis.2016.12.009.