Gait disorders in the elderly: Commonly overlooked diagnostic clues

Academic Article


  • Gait disorders (the leading cause of falls in the elderly) are often overlooked, yet they frequently signal a serious underlying disorder of the musculoskeletal, nervous, or cardiovascular system. Diseases of the peripheral nervous system, such as peripheral neuropathy, are associated with an ataxic gait; those involving the peripheral motor system, such as degenerative joint diseases, lead to antalgic gait changes. Middle sensorimotor level disorders such as Parkinson's disease cause subtle changes - for example, a narrower gait - that are easily overlooked. The most frequently missed high sensorimotor level disease is normal-pressure hydrocephalus, which may be signaled by an apraxic gait. Several simple office-based tests of gait and balance, such as the 'get up and go' test, can help you spot the earliest manifestations of these serious conditions.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Consultant  Journal
  • Author List

  • Duxbury AS
  • Start Page

  • 2337
  • End Page

  • 2351
  • Volume

  • 37
  • Issue

  • 9