Balancing between the two: are freezing of gait and postural instability in Parkinson’s disease connected?

Publication date: Available online 17 August 2018Source: Neuroscience &Biobehavioral ReviewsAuthor(s): E.M.J. Bekkers, B.W. Dijkstra, E. Heremans, S.M.P. Verschueren, B.R. Bloem, A. NieuwboerABSTRACTPostural instability and freezing of gait (FoG) are key features of Parkinson’s disease (PD) closely related to falls. Growing evidence suggests that co-existing postural deficits could influence the occurrence and severity of FoG. To date, the exact nature of this interrelationship remains largely unknown. We analyzed the complex interaction between postural instability and gait disturbance by comparing the findings available in the posturographic literature between patients with and without FoG. Results showed that FoG and postural instability are intertwined, can influence each other behaviorally and may coincide neurologically. The most common FoG-related postural deficits included weight-shifting impairments, and inadequate scaling and timing of postural responses most apparent at forthcoming postural changes under time constraints. Most likely, a negative cycle of combined and more severe postural deficits in people with FoG will enhance postural stability breakdown. As such, the wide brain network deficiencies involved in FoG may also concurrently influence postural stability. Future work needs to examine whether training interventions targeting both symptoms will have extra clinical benefits on fall frequency.
Source: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews - Category: Neuroscience Source Type: research

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