Relationship between freezing of gait (FOG) and other features of Parkinson's: FOG is not correlated with bradykinesia

J Clin Neurosci. 2003 Sep;10(5):584-8. doi: 10.1016/s0967-5868(03)00192-9.


Background: The pathophysiology of freezing of gait (FOG) is unclear.

Objective: To assess the relationships between FOG and other parkinsonian features in Parkinson's disease (PD), focusing on levodopa effects.

Methods: Nineteen PD patients with significant FOG in "off" were assessed while "off" and "on". Three observers independently viewed videotapes of a 130-m walk and scored FOG frequency. The Unified Parkinson's disease Rating Scale was used to evaluate clinical state.

Results: FOG frequency was not correlated with other parkinsonian features in "off" and only with speech and writing in "on". Levodopa significantly decreased FOG frequency (p<0.001). This reduction was strongly correlated with improvement of tremor (R=0.80, p<0.01) and speech (R=0.62, p<0.05), but not with improvement in rigidity, bradykinesia, or balance.

Conclusion: Levodopa decreases FOG in PD. FOG is apparently an independent motor symptom, caused by a paroxysmal pathology that is different from that responsible for bradykinesia, rigidity or postural instability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Antiparkinson Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Gait Ataxia / drug therapy
  • Gait Ataxia / etiology*
  • Gait Ataxia / physiopathology
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic / drug therapy
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic / etiology*
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Hypokinesia / drug therapy
  • Hypokinesia / etiology*
  • Levodopa / therapeutic use*
  • Motor Activity
  • Movement Disorders / drug therapy
  • Movement Disorders / etiology
  • Parkinson Disease / complications*
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy
  • Postural Balance / physiology
  • Speech Disorders / etiology
  • Tremor / etiology


  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Levodopa