Disorders of gait and balance are among the most disabling disorders, particularly affecting the elderly. In this article, Dr. Jankovic of Baylor College of Medicine discusses the various causes of gait disorders and how to evaluate and treat them.
Slowness of gait is a normal consequence of aging, which can be accelerated in the setting of Parkinson disease or other parkinsonian disorders.
Lower-body parkinsonism usually indicates the presence of vascular etiology, usually a multi-infarct state.
Most gait disorders in the elderly are of multifactorial origin, including prior strokes, orthopedic or arthritic problems, peripheral neuropathy, and a fear of falling.