Evidence for Subtypes of Freezing of Gait in Parkinson's Disease

Mov Disord. 2018 Jul;33(7):1174-1178. doi: 10.1002/mds.27417.


Background: The purpose of this study is to identify and characterize subtypes of freezing of gait by using a novel questionnaire designed to delineate freezing patterns based on self-reported and behavioral gait assessment.

Methods: A total of 41 Parkinson's patients with freezing completed the Characterizing Freezing of Gait questionnaire that identifies situations that exacerbate freezing. This instrument underwent examination for construct validity and internal consistency, after which a data-driven clustering approach was employed to identify distinct patterns amongst individual responses. Behavioral freezing assessments in both dopaminergic states were compared across 3 identified subgroups.

Results: This novel questionnaire demonstrated construct validity (severity scores correlated with percentage of time frozen; r = 0.54) and internal consistency (Cronbach's α = .937), and thus demonstrated promising utility for identifying patterns of freezing that are independently related to motor, anxiety, and attentional impairments.

Conclusions: Patients with freezing may be dissociable based on underlying neurobiological underpinnings that would have significant implications for targeting future treatments. © 2018 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

Keywords: Freezing of gait; Parkinson's disease; affective; cognitive; heterogeneity; limbic; motor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Female
  • Freezing Reaction, Cataleptic / physiology*
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic* / classification
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic* / diagnosis
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Parkinson Disease / complications*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Walking