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The National Parkinson Foundation Awards Five Grants for the Falls Prevention Initiative

MIAMI, Jan. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) awarded five grants for the Falls Prevention Initiative, studying new evidence-based interventions aimed at preventing falls in people with Parkinson's disease.

The Falls Prevention Initiative awarded grants to five different research projects at NPF Centers of Excellence in the Netherlands, Israel, Canada, and the United States. NPF supports a strong network of Centers of Excellence dedicated to providing comprehensive, interdisciplinary care to more than 50,000 Parkinson's patients and their families.

Falls are a common and devastating consequence of Parkinson's disease and have an enormous impact on the physical and mental well-being of affected patients. Preliminary results of all five studies will be presented in December of 2009 at the annual National Parkinson Foundation Centers Leadership Conference.

"The Falls Prevention Initiative is part of the National Parkinson Foundation's ongoing efforts to ensure that people with Parkinson's disease have access to the most comprehensive and highest quality care possible," said Joyce Oberdorf, President and CEO of the National Parkinson Foundation in Miami. "We look forward to working with the grant recipients in supporting research that will have an immediate impact on the lives of Parkinson's disease patients worldwide."

The following NPF Falls Prevention Initiative studies have been funded:

1) Nijmegen Parkinson Center: This study will investigate the efficacy of a multifactorial falls prevention program using tailored treatment strategies. Bastiann Bloem, MD, PhD, Nijmegen, Netherlands.

2) Nijmegen Parkinson Center and Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center: This study will validate devices aimed at measuring both the quality and quantity of activity patterns while patients move in their own environment during a prolonged time period. Bastiaan Bloem, MD, PhD and Marten Munneke, PT, PhD, Nijmegen, Netherlands; Nir Giladi, MD and Jeffrey Hausdorff, PhD, Tel Aviv, Israel.

3) University of British Colombia Pacific Parkinson's Research Center: This study will identify new variables for screening PD subjects at risk for falling, and help to focus rehabilitation efforts to reduce the current risk of falls. Mark Carpenter, PhD and Martin McKeown, PhD, Vancouver, British Columbia.

4) Struthers Parkinson's Center: This study will develop a balance assessment tool specific for Parkinson's disease and a "PD Falls Assessment Toolkit." Sotirios Parashos MD, PhD and Catherine Wielinski MPH, Minneapolis.

5) The Movement Disorders Center at Beth Israel Medical Center: This study will determine if individuals with PD who receive a three-month clinical Qi Gong intervention experience fewer falls. Sheree Loftus Fader, MSN, APRN, New York.

NPF Chapters Support Initiative

To further understand how falls can be prevented, the following NPF Chapters sponsored the Falls Prevention Initiative:

  • South Palm Beach County Chapter of the NPF, Boca Raton, FL
  • Parkinson Association of Minnesota, Plymouth
  • Parkinson Association of Northern California, Sacramento
  • Hawaii Parkinson Association, Honolulu
  • Parkinson's Resources of Oregon, Portland
  • Parkinson's Support Group of Upstate NY
  • Parkinson Association of Illinois, Chicago
  • NPF Orange County Chapter, Newport Beach, CA

About the National Parkinson Foundation

Since 1982, NPF has funded more than $140 million in care, research, outreach and support services for its Centers network, addressing unmet needs at all stages of Parkinson's disease. In FY 2009, NPF funded a total of nearly $9 million in programs dedicated to Parkinson's disease.

Founded in 1957, the National Parkinson Foundation's mission is to improve the quality of Parkinson's care and develop exemplary care for this generation of Parkinson's patients through research, education, and outreach.

For more information about Parkinson's disease or the National Parkinson Foundation, please visit or call 800-327-4545.

SOURCE National Parkinson Foundation
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