Background: Few studies have examined falls and their predictors in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Objective: The aim of this study was to survey fall incidence and to identify variables predicting the presence or absence of falls occurring within 3 months after discharge of patients with ALS from hospital. Methods: The following variables were evaluated in 14 patients with ALS: Timed up and go test (TUG), functional reach test, 10-m comfortable gait speed, single-leg stance time, manual muscle test (MMT) scores for the lower limb, total modified Ashworth scale score for the lower limbs, fear of falling, and pull test score. The primary outcome variable was the occurrence of a fall within 3 months after discharge. The fall rate was calculated based on fall record forms. The specific circumstances of each fall were also recorded. Univariate and multiple regression analyses were used to identify fall predictors. Results: Seven of the 14 ALS patients (50%) experienced a fall within 3 months. Five fallers reported experiencing a fall that had caused injury, and three reported experiencing a fall that had required a hospital visit. Univariate logistic regression analysis identified TUG time, gait speed and MMT of the ankle dorsiflexors as factors associated with falls (p = 0.02-0.04). Multiple linear regression analysis of fall numbers identified age and TUG time as predictor models (p = 0.03). Conclusion: TUG time and MMT of ankle dorsiflexors may help predict falls in ALS patients. Validation studies in larger cohorts are needed.
- amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- ankle dorsiflexion
- timed up and go test
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology