Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson's Disease: How is it Related to Dizziness and Imbalance?


Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disease process that interferes with the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine plays a large role in the brain’s ability to coordinate smooth bodily movements. Patients with Parkinson’s Disease may experience imbalance due to postural and gait changes that occur as the disease progresses. Furthermore, according to the National Parkinson’s Foundation, 15-50% of patients with Parkinson’s Disease also experience neurogenic orthostatic hypotension. Parkinson’s Disease can inhibit the nervous system from appropriately controlling the constriction and dilation of blood vessels, resulting in neurogenic orthostatic hypotension. Orthostatic hypotension is described as a rapid drop in blood pressure when moving from a seated position to standing. This rapid change in blood pressure can cause brief episodes of lightheadedness or dizziness upon standing.


Parkinson's Disease Vestibular Management:

Imbalance and fall prevention can be addressed via balance retraining therapy as prescribed by a physical therapist. Refer to this link for more information regarding vestibular rehabilitation and balance retraining therapy: