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Keywords:

  • Gait ignition failure

Abstract

The syndrome of gait ignition failure is described in six patients in whom difficulty initiating walking was the major symptom. The gait had elements of parkinsonism with start and turn hesitation, shuffling, and freezing. Unlike parkinsonism, however, the gait was relatively normal once entrained; the posture was upright, and good arm swing, a normal stride length, and no festination were seen. Equilibrium was normal or near normal, and when seated or lying, rhythmic leg movements were generated normally. Facial expression, upper limb mobility, and whole body movements were wellpreserved. This gait disorder differed from that seen in Parkinson's disease and the so-called “frontal” or “senile” disorders of gait and gait “apraxia”. The causes of this gait syndrome are not clear but it may be due to frontal lobe vascular disease and/or focal degeneration of the frontal lobes.