Does anyone have information specifically about "backwards" falling?

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My Mom (92) has recently had problems with falling backwards... She was actually holding onto her walker when she said she felt herself falling backwards without any warning. Her doc believes it could be related to a certical problem (or the artery in the back of her neck - not the carotids - is blocked). The doc balked at having an MRI done, because "there wouldn't be anything to do about it & it tends just to freak people out & make them fearful of "stroking out". Any thoughts/info? I found an article online on this, which was called Backward Disequilibrium - "BD" - but her doc just cut me off as soon as I mentioned the source & said "you can find anything online, so let's not go there!"

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First get another Dr. Any Dr who won't initiate investigation because it might ' freak people out' should not be ' practising'!
You and your mother deserve better.
Also , dismissing what you have found on the internet is contemptuous to say the least. Drs have to be prepared for what their patients find in magazines, internet, other media, and be respectful of the fact that the patient is doing their own research. If your mother keeps falling, she is at risk of a brain injury, and broken bones = pain, disability, morbidity !
Look for a more competent and intelligent Dr. Good luck. I hope your mother gets the support she deserves. Years ago, I worked with a Dr who told me that he always subscribed to the Reader's Digest, so he kept up with the illnesses that his patients would have next month. ( RD used to have an article ' I am Joe's or Jill's kidney / liver / thyroid etc.' )
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Dear Dunn, the following is my reply to similar question 3 months ago. PSP is not difficult to diagnose for an informed or specialized neurologist. That's why we changed neurologists. Dr Michael Au did not need tests, it was a 5 minute, clinical diagnosis. It is VERY frustrating to not have answers. Find a right neurologist, research, and watch for other symptoms. If you do find that mom has PSP I would suggest you make the most of your mom time now.
- - - Falling backwards? Not speaking, swallowing, reading, or walking well? Mom had it all plus seizures. Research PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy), rare, and commonly misdiagnosed as the look-alike Parkinsons. Her dr offered pills, her neurologist offered mind deadening seizure meds and used the word Alzheimers. We found a new dr (never too late!) who referred us to an informed GERIATRIC neurologist. He was well worth the 2 hr drive and 5 min office visit for correct diagnosis. Mom matched every PSP symptom we found online. No, there is no treatment. But YES, huge relief to finally have an answer, to know what was going on w Mom, and what we could expect for the future. We let go of the worry, frustration, the running around for help from the help-less. Our last 3 years were spent enjoying and making the most of the time we had.
TerryinParadise
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Is Progressive Supranuclear Palsy difficult to diagnose? We have had every possible test know and seen a neurologist. He has ruled out Parkinson's. My mom is 76 and experiencing balance/backward falling. After a fall, she has no idea how the fall happened. We have had in-home therapy and while it has helped some, my mom is frustrated because there is no diagnosis or known cause for her falls.
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Falling backwards? Not speaking, swallowing, reading, or walking well? Mom had it all plus seizures. Research PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy), rare, and commonly misdiagnosed as the look-alike Parkinsons. Her dr offered pills, her neurologist offered mind deadening seizure meds and used the word Alzheimers. We found a new dr (never too late!) who referred us to an informed GERIATRIC neurologist. He was well worth the 2 hr drive and 5 min office visit for correct diagnosis. Mom matched every PSP symptom we found online. No, there is no treatment. But YES, huge relief to finally have an answer, to know what was going on w Mom, and what we could expect for the future. We let go of the worry, frustration, the running around for help from the help-less. Our last 3 years were spent enjoying and making the most of the time we had.
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I'm a bit late to post here but falling backwards is a symptom of Progressive Supranuclear palsy, a little known degenerative neurological condition. It also causes issues with vision, swallowing, talking eventually etc but often initial onset is backward falls, slurred speech and problems focussing eyes. Thimblemoss especially please research this condition and check it's not this. It's under the umbrella of Parkinson's conditions but has very little similarity to Parkinson's.
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This ( backward disequilibrium) is so interesting. My aunt (89) complained that she was falling backwards several years ago. She never actually fell but felt like she easily could. She had pt at home and while it helped she said she still felt like she was tilted backwards. A therapist came in to do an evaluation and noted that her posture was such that she leaned back and also noticed that the converse sneakers she liked to wear were very flat, had no arch support and no heel buildup and were too long. All of this was true. They looked like clown shoes to me. She liked those shoes so much she had two pair of them. When we got her in better shoes the problem went away. She loves her new shoes. I never dreamed there was such a problem as backward disequilibrium. She has in home therapy sessions once a quarter and it really helps.
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My 88-yr-old mother has OA of right knee, COPD, CHF and AFib, and she had an ischemic stroke 2 yrs ago. She takes the anticoagulant Xarelto (rivaroxaban). and furosemide, among other medications. She has a significant balance problem and muscle weakness. She uses a walker 100% of the time. She lives in a retirement community and still insists in living in her "independent living" cottage. She recently had two backward falls in her cottage, once in October 2015 (hit back of head on wood dining table leaf, went to ER, CAT scan showed no injury), and the second time in February 2016 (hit left elbow on vinyl floor, went ER and had avulsion "glued" together and bandaged). I called the offices of her primary physician and her cardiologist. I will call her physical therapist also. Here is an article I found on pubmed: Backward disequilibrium in elderly subjects. Clin Interv Aging 2008 Dec;3(4):667-672. A comprehensive review also found on pubmed: Howe TE, Exercise for improving balance in older people. Cochrane Database Syst Rev Nov 9;(11):CD:004963. A third article in a physical therapy journal: What is backward disequilibrium and how do I treat it? A complex patient case study. J Neurol Phys Ther 2015 Apr;39(2):119-26.
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my aunt is 92 years old,she has been having trouble walking for about 2 years now,i have had her in re-hab off and on for those 2 years,every time she comes home from therpy she cannot do something that she could when she went,i told her that she is the only person i know that goes through re-hab and comes home worse,she is in re-hab now and cannot stand for very long,she can ride a bike in therpy and do a good job of it,but when she puts weight on her legs she cannot hardly move her feet,i have had every test we can think of but nothing,even had a stroke test and nothing,she was falling forward for awhile and now she falls backward when she is able to walk,I am so afraid that i am going to have to place her in a nursing home,but what else can i do?i would love to try and bring her home,but i have medical problems which limits my ability to lift and pull on her,does anyone know what her medical problem could be,since no doctor does,
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It can be neurologic, part of a parkinsonism picture either primary or secondary, and may respond to medication for that. If you think that's it and the regular nurse or doc can't feel it or see it, or is not familiar with how to treat it, get a good neurologist to take a look. Artane and Sinemet don't totally substitute for a functional striatum nigrum and basal ganglia, but they can be suprisingly helpful in some cases and often without a lot of side effects. YMMV!!
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Balance comes from mechanisms in the inner ear, and at 92 the machine is just plain worn out. She doesn't like PT, then don't force her to continue. She is headed for a wheelchair and 24/7 assistance. The MD was a little abrupt, but he may be frustrated as much as you are. The reality of old age is difficult to accept and not really repairable.
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