Postural instability/gait disturbance in Parkinson's disease has distinct subtypes: An exploratory analysis

Academic Article


  • Objective To test the hypothesis that postural instability with falling (PIF) and freezing of gait (FOG) are distinct subtypes of the postural instability/gait disturbance (PIGD) form of Parkinson's disease (PD). Methods 499 PD subjects from the NeuroGenetics Research Consortium were studied using logistic regression to examine, in a cross sectional analysis, predictors of FOG and PIF. Potential predictors were from four spheres; demographic, clinical motor, clinical nonmotor and genetic. Results FOG and PIF were both associated with greater gait subscores and lower tremor subscores on the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (p≤0.02). However, they differed with regard to demographic, non-motor and genetic predictors. FOG was associated with greater duration of disease, with ORs of 3.01 (95% CI 1.35 to 6.72) and 4.91 (95% CI 2.29 to 10.54) for third and fourth quartiles of duration, respectively, versus the lowest half of duration. The risk of having psychotic symptoms was also significantly increased (OR 3.02, 95% CI 1.41 to 6.49; p=0.004). FOG was inversely associated with the presence of the CYP2D6*4 allele (OR 0.41, 95% CI 0.21 to 0.80; p=0.009) suggesting a protective effect. PIF was associated with depression (OR 1.08, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.15; p<0.02) and was inversely associated with APOE 34 (OR 0.21, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.87; p=0.03), again suggesting a protective effect. Conclusion FOG and PIF have different demographic, non-motor and genetic predictors suggesting that they may be pathophysiologically distinct subtypes of PIGD.These findings have implications in the discovery of therapeutic targets for these disabling features as well as for predicting outcomes of PD.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Factor SA; Kyle Steenland N; Higgins DS; Molho ES; Kay DM; Montimurro J; Rosen AR; Zabetian CP; Payami H
  • Start Page

  • 564
  • End Page

  • 568
  • Volume

  • 82
  • Issue

  • 5