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Neurological gait assessment.

Practical Neurology 2024 January 24
Gait disorders are a common feature of neurological disease. The gait examination is an essential part of the neurological clinical assessment, providing valuable clues to a myriad of causes. Understanding how to examine gait is not only essential for neurological diagnosis but also for treatment and prognosis. Here, we review aspects of the clinical history and examination of neurological gait to help guide gait disorder assessment. We focus particularly on how to differentiate between common gait abnormalities and highlight the characteristic features of the more prevalent neurological gait patterns such as ataxia, waddling, steppage, spastic gait, Parkinson's disease and functional gait disorders. We also offer diagnostic clues for some unusual gait presentations, such as dystonic, stiff-person and choreiform gait, along with red flags that help differentiate atypical parkinsonism from Parkinson's disease.

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