Gait disturbance in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus

Etsuro Mori

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The triad symptoms of idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH), i.e., dementia, gait disturbance, and urinary incontinence may appear commonly in the elderly suffering from various brain diseases as well as in those with musculoskeletal disorders. It would not be easy to differentiate iNPH from other neurological diseases with musculoskeletal disorders in the elderly. Gait disturbance is an early and central clinical symptom, and its improvement after temporary removal of CSF and shunt surgery is the most notable. This paper reviews the nature, differential diagnosis, pathophysiology, and evaluation of iNPH gait. Broad-based, short-step, magnetic gait with start hesitation and increased instability on turning, which is often expressed as apraxic/ataxic gait, is the cardinal sign of iNPH. Although iNPH gait shares the features with gait in Parkinson disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, and cerebellar ataxia, the nature of iNPH gait is the closest to apraxia of gait, which is characterized primarily by gait ignition failure. The semiological similarity to apraxia of gait and the close relationship to frontal symptoms indicate that the iNPH gait is probably caused by frontal dysfunction. The gait subscale of the idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus grading scale and the timed "Up and Go" test are recommended as useful tools for measuring gait disturbance in iNPH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-224
Number of pages6
JournalBrain and Nerve
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Mar


  • Apraxia of gait
  • Differential diagnosis
  • Evaluation
  • Gait disturbance
  • Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Gait disturbance in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this