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March 1987

Gait Disorder in Late-Life Hydrocephalus

Author Affiliations

From the Neurology Service, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Brockton—West Roxbury, Mass (Dr Sudarksy); the Neurological Unit, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston (Dr Sudarsky); the Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Boston (Dr Sudarsky); and the Division of Orthopedic Surgery, Ohio State University School of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio (Dr Simon).

Arch Neurol. 1987;44(3):263-267. doi:10.1001/archneur.1987.00520150019012

• Computerized analysis of gait was performed in six patients with hydrocephalus (mean age, 75.7 years), for comparison with other elderly patients with gait problems and age-matched controls. A decrease in velocity and stride, an increase in sway, and the proportion of time spent in double-limb stance were nonspecific features correlated with declining performance. Certain features appeared to characterize hydrocephalic gait when compared among groups; cadence was diminished, and there was a reduction of step height and a decreased counterrotation of the shoulders relative to the pelvis. An abnormal tendency toward cocontraction in antagonist muscle groups was observed in electromyographic data from the leg muscles, suggesting that the normal phased activation of muscle groups is disturbed. Although data are not conclusive, we believe that the gait disorder in normal-pressure hydrocephalus reflects a subcortical motor control disorder rather than a phenomenon of spasticity or apraxia.

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