Freezing of gait: Moving forward on a mysterious clinical phenomenon

John G. Nutt*, Bastiaan R. Bloem, Nir Giladi, Mark Hallett, Fay B. Horak, Alice Nieuwboer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Freezing of gait (FoG) is a unique and disabling clinical phenomenon characterised by brief episodes of inability to step or by extremely short steps that typically occur on initiating gait or on turning while walking. Patients with FoG, which is a feature of parkinsonian syndromes, show variability in gait metrics between FoG episodes and a substantial reduction in step length with frequent trembling of the legs during FoG episodes. Physiological, functional imaging, and clinical-pathological studies point to disturbances in frontal cortical regions, the basal ganglia, and the midbrain locomotor region as the probable origins of FoG. Medications, deep brain stimulation, and rehabilitation techniques can alleviate symptoms of FoG in some patients, but these treatments lack efficacy in patients with advanced FoG. A better understanding of the phenomenon is needed to aid the development of effective therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)734-744
Number of pages11
JournalThe Lancet Neurology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011


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