Tandem gait abnormality in Parkinson disease: Prevalence and implication as a predictor of fall risk

Jason Margolesky, Sagari Bette, Danielle S. Shpiner, Elizabeth A. Jordan, Chuanhui Dong, Tatjana Rundek, Corneliu C. Luca, Henry Moore, Carlos Singer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: We report the prevalence of abnormal tandem gait (TG) in patients with idiopathic Parkinson disease (PD) and its association with symptoms of subjective unsteadiness, falls, freezing of gait, and cognitive impairment. Methods: We assessed subjective balance impairment, fall history, antero-posterior postural instability, and TG in PD patients (Hoehn and Yahr (HY) stage 0–4). We recorded the age, sex, current medications, HY stage, Schwab and England (S&E) scale score, and MOCA score for each patient. Logistic regression was used to evaluate age-adjusted associations between TG and other demographic and clinical factors. Results: A total of 102 patients with PD were assessed. Of those, 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. Conclusions: TG abnormality is common in PD, precedes the development of antero-posterior postural instability, is associated with cognitive impairment, and may predict fall risk. A longitudinal study will help determine if TG is a predictor of impending progression from HY 2 to HY 3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-87
Number of pages5
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • Neurologic exam
  • Parkinson disease
  • Postural instability
  • Tandem gait

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology


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