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Gait abnormalities in psychogenic movement disorders


  • Jong Sam Baik MD,

    1. Movement Disorders Center, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, Canada
    2. Department of Neurology, Inje University, Seoul, South Korea
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  • Anthony E. Lang MD, FRCPC

    Corresponding author
    1. Movement Disorders Center, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, Canada
    • Toronto Western Hospital, Morton and Gloria Shulman Movement Disorders Center, McL-7, 399 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON M5T 2S8, Canada
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An abnormal gait is not uncommon in patients with medically unexplained neurological symptoms, including those with other psychogenic movement disorders (PMDs). Previous studies have not evaluated the gait characteristics of patients with a variety of PMDs and there are no reports comparing PMDs with and without gait disturbances. We were interested in determining how those with and without additional involvement of gait differed and how PMD patients differed from those with a pure psychogenic gait disorder (PGD) in the absence of another PMD. We investigated gait features in a large series of patients with PMD (n = 279), dividing them into two groups (Group I with a normal gait and Group II with an abnormal gait). Group I included those with PMD with a normal gait and no change in the PMD while walking (I-1), and those with a change in PMD while walking, but not affecting gait (I-2). Group II was divided into those with PMD with additional abnormal gait (II-1) and those with pure psychogenic gait disorder without other abnormal movements (II-2). Excessive slowing of movement was more common in PMD patients with an abnormal gait (Group II) compared to those without (Group I). Slowness of gait was the most common feature in patients with PMD combined with a PGD (II-1) and buckling of the knee pattern was the most common type of pure PGD (II-2), followed by astasia–abasia. © 2006 Movement Disorder Society