The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation has made a second $1 million gift to a breakthrough program at Barrow Neurological Institute that is working to reduce the incidence of falls among patients with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. The gift will be invested in staff and more than $400,000 worth of equipment needed for research and therapy at The Bob & Renee Parsons Fall Prevention Center, a specialty program at the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center.
The Bob & Renee Parsons Fall Prevention Center was funded through an initial $1 million grant from the Parsons in 2014. The Center was created to address a major problem for patients with Parkinson’s disease and for all aging Americans. At least one-third of adults older than 65 fall at least once a year, making falls the leading cause of injury-related deaths and the most common cause of hospitalization among this segment of the U.S. population.
“This important program for Parkinson’s patients exists today because of the generosity of The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation,” said Holly Shill, MD, Director of the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center. “We believe that the research being conducted here will lead to a better quality of life for our patients and, potentially for all aging Americans.”
At The Bob & Renee Parsons Fall Prevention Center, movement disorder specialists from the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center are working with engineering specialists from Arizona State University on research to identify the causes of falls and develop ways to prevent them. Fall-prevention strategies developed through the research will be integrated into the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center’s therapy programs and community outreach activities and also communicated to the broader healthcare community.
“Ultimately, it is our hope that the work being done at The Bob & Renee Parsons Fall Prevention Center will help to reduce, or eliminate, the risk of falling for those who struggle with mobility and balance issues,” said entrepreneur and philanthropist Bob Parsons.
This latest gift from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation will fund two new positions – an ASU graduate student and physical therapist to assist in the practical application of the research. Additionally, the grant will fund 20 wireless biosensors that patients can wear continuously at home to monitor their gait and posture. Information generated by the biosensors will help researchers identify why patients fall. To learn more, visit http://www.thebarrow.org.