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Festinating Gait: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

What is Festinating Gait?

Festinating Gait is a kind of a gait disorder which is characterized by uncontrolled stiffness with walking. In this type of gait disorder, the patient has an uncontrolled quickness while ambulating and then will have a problem in stopping themselves from walking. In festinating gait, the entire foot is placed on the ground at once while walking and in severe cases patients walk with a toe heel pattern. Patients with festinating gait have their feet glued to the ground for a few moments before going off of the ground. This becomes that more obvious during turns or resuming walking after a period of apparent rest. Festinating Gait is mostly seen in patients with a known diagnosis of Parkinson Disease.

Festinating Gait

What is the Cause of Festinating Gait?

As stated, parkinson disease is the root cause of festinating gait, as in this disease the basal ganglia which controls movement gets severely affected thus leading to impaired movements.

Diagnosis of Festinating Gait

In order to diagnose a cause of festinating gait, the physician will conduct a series of tests including an electromyography to see if the muscle movements are normal. The physician will also take a history of the patient to see if the patient has had any other symptoms which may pinpoint to a Parkinson Disease.

What are the Treatments for Festinating Gait?

As dopamine deficiency is responsible for a festinating gait, hence Levodopa is the most preferred drug to deal with festinating gait. This drug then reactivates the signals from dopamine neurotransmitters which results in the dopamine deficiency being replenished. This medication is best effective for people with Parkinson Disease. These medications also correct freezing of gait and considerable swaying that such patients exhibit while walking.

Apart from medications, the patient will also be sent to a physical therapist who will teach the patient some gait training exercises and also teach the patient how to be extra careful when ambulating so as to avoid any falls due to festinating gait.

References:

  1. Journal of Movement Disorders: “Gait Disorders in Parkinson’s Disease”: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5524732/
  2. Mayo Clinic: “Parkinson’s disease”: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/parkinsons-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20376055
  3. Movement Disorders: “Festinating Gait in Parkinson’s Disease: Pathophysiology, Phenomenology, and Treatment Interventions”: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/mds.27568
  4. Medscape: “Parkinson Disease”: https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1831191-overview
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 11, 2023

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