Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Examining Stepping Capacity in People with PD

J Neurol Phys Ther; 2017 Oct; Duncan, et al

People with Parkinson disease (PD) stepped furthest in the forward direction when performing the Maximum Step Length Test (MSLT), a recent study found. Increased MSLT performance was observed in the ON-medication state compared with OFF-medication; however, the small increase may not be clinically meaningful. 40 participants (mean age 65.12 ± 8.20 years; 45% female) with idiopathic PD completed the MSLT while OFF and ON anti-PD medication. The following measures were collected: Mini-Balance Evaluation Systems Test (Mini-BESTest), Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) scale, gait velocity, 6-minute walk test (6MWT), Movement Disorder Society-Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale subsection III (MDS-UPDRS III), and Timed Up and Go (TUG) test. Researchers found:

  • Regardless of medication status, participants stepped further in the forward direction compared with the backward and lateral directions.
  • Participants increased MSLT performance when ON-medication compared with OFF-medication.
  • Regardless of medication status, MSLT was moderately to strongly related to Mini-BESTest, TUG, and 6MWT.
  • Given the relationships between the MSLT and the Mini-BESTest, 6MWT, and TUG, MSLT performance appears to be associated with balance and gait hypokinesia in people with PD.


Duncan RY, McNeely ME, Earhart GM. Maximum step length test performance in people with Parkinson disease: A cross-sectional study. J Neurol Phys Ther. 2017;41(4):216-221. doi:10.1097/NPT.0000000000000201

This Week's Must Reads

Possible Link: Hepatic Steatosis and Brain Aging, JAMA Neurol; ePub 2017 Nov 20; Weinstein, et al

Neurologic Drug Shortages May Compromise Care, Neurology; ePub 2017 Nov 15; Omorodion, et al

Sleep Fragmentation Linked with PD in Older Adults, Mov Disord; ePub 2017 Oct 30; Sohail, Yu, et al

Dietary Sodium to Potassium Ratio and Stroke Risk, Stroke; ePub 2017 Oct 10; Willey, Gardener, et al

Sleep Apnea Did Not Accelerate Kidney Decline, Sleep; ePub 2017 Nov 3; Canales, Hagen, et al

Must Reads in Movement Disorders

Cognitive Impairment in PSP Linked with Tau Burden, Mov Disord; ePub 2017 Oct 30; Koga, Parks, et al

Dystonia and Ataxia Progression Examined, Parkinson Relat Disord; ePub 2017 Oct 23; Kuo, et al

Poor Cognition Linked to Incident Parkinsonism Risk, JAMA Neurol; ePub 2017 Sep 25; Darweesh, et al

ET Caregiver Burden, Correlates Examined, Front Neurol; ePub 2017 Aug 14; Morgan, et al

Examining Stepping Capacity in People with PD, J Neurol Phys Ther; 2017 Oct; Duncan, et al