Handwriting changes due to aging and Parkinson's syndrome

Forensic Sci Int. 1997 Aug 22;88(3):197-214. doi: 10.1016/s0379-0738(97)00105-9.


Wills signed by elderly people are often contested on the grounds the the signature is different from their earlier specimen signatures. Neurological disease, which can affect handwriting, is very common and progressive amongst elderly people. Handwriting change due to old age and neurological disease is poorly understood. To better understand this subject, we carried out a large methodical study based on almost 200 handwriting specimens of Parkinson patients and age-matched controls. Interestingly, our findings indicate that some of the handwriting changes which occur in these populations tend to resemble forgery indicia although upon close inspection they are distinguishable from them. Thus, document examiners are urged to exercise caution in assessing purported forgeries on wills and other documents signed of written during older age or a writer suffering from neurological disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forensic Medicine / methods
  • Handwriting*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*
  • Wills / legislation & jurisprudence