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Tandem Gait, Common in PD, May Predict Fall Risk

Parkinsonism Relat Disord; ePub 2019 Feb 23; Margolesky, et al

Tandem gait (TG) abnormality is common in Parkinson disease (PD), precedes the development of antero-posterior postural instability, is associated with cognitive impairment, and may predict fall risk, according to a recent study. Researchers assessed subjective balance impairment, fall history, antero-posterior postural instability, and TG in PD patients (n=102) (Hoehn and Yahr [HY] stage 0–4). They recorded the age, sex, current medications, HY stage, Schwab and England (S&E) scale score, and Montreal Cognitive Assessment Test (MOCA) score for each patient. Logistic regression was used to evaluate age-adjusted associations between TG and other demographic and clinical factors. They found:

  • Of total patient, 63.5% of HY 2 patients and 100% of HY 2.5 and 3 patients had a TG abnormality.
  • The presence of TG abnormality was associated with subjective imbalance, falls, freezing of gait, S&E <80, and MOCA score <24 after adjustment for age.

Margolesky J, Bette S, Shpiner DS, et al. Tandem gait abnormality in Parkinson disease: Prevalence and implication as a predictor of fall risk. [Published online ahead of print February 23, 2019]. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. doi:10.1016/j.parkreldis.2019.02.034.