Normal frontal perfusion in patients with frozen gait



We have studied the frontal perfusion in the resting condition of two groups of patients with frozen gait: 10 patients with the syndrome of “isolated gait ignition failure” (IGIF) and 8 patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD) and severe “off” freezing. These patients were compared with two other groups: one including 20 age-matched volunteers as normal control subjects and the other one including 12 patients with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) as a positive control with expected frontal hypoperfusion. Frontal perfusion was assed using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) regional cerebral blood flow measurement with intravenous 133Xenon. A significant frontal hypoperfusion was only present in the PSP group but not in the three othrs. These results do not support the hypothesis that start hesitations and freezing when walking are related to a frontal lobe dysfunction. However, it is possible that frontal neuronla dysfunction occurs without measurable cerebral blood flow changes in the resting condition.