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AAN 2023 | Efficacy of a multidisciplinary telemedicine program in high-risk fall patients with PD

Falls are very frequent in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and can lead to devastating consequences, including decreasing quality of life, increasing comorbidity, and social isolation. Esther Cubo Delgado, MD, PhD, FAAN, Hospital General Yague, Burgos, Spain, discusses a study that evaluated the feasibility and efficacy of a low-cost multidisciplinary telemedicine program in reducing the incidence of falls and gait impairment in addition to in-office standard care in patients with PD. The study also assessed the efficacy of the multidisciplinary telemedicine program on motor and non-motor symptoms in PD and the short and long-term impact of the telemedicine intervention. The TeleFall study (NCT04694443) was a longitudinal, randomized study that included PD patients with a high risk of falling and restricted access to multidisciplinary care. A multidisciplinary telemedicine program (occupational therapy, nutrition, and PD clinical management) plus standard care was allocated to the study group for four months and compared to controls (in-office visits, standard care). At 4 and 8 months, there were no differences between the telemedicine and the control group regarding levodopa dose, number of falls, or in the MDS-UPDRS III and IV. However, the severity of the freezing of gait and balance impartment was decreased in the telemedicine group compared to the in-office group. Compared to controls, patients in the telemedicine group had an improvement in non-motor symptoms, especially depression, apathy, and quality of life. These results support the use of telemedicine interventions alongside standard care in patients with PD. This interview took place at the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting 2023 in Boston, MA.

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