We highlight a specific and hitherto poorly characterised phenotype of functional gait impairments: functional freezing of gait. Unique to the presented case is the use of compensation strategies, many of which at first sight might appear to hint towards the presence of freezing of gait typical of Parkinson’s disease or another form of Parkinsonism. Importantly, however, this patient’s compensation strategies involved various inconsistent and incongruent elements, supporting the diagnosis of a functional neurological disorder. Recognising the features of functional freezing also helps to appreciate better the classical manifestations of freezing of gait in Parkinson’s disease.
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Contributors JN and BRB conceived the idea for this article and performed the neurological examination in this patient. JN drafted the first version of this article, with subsequent feedback from all other authors.
Funding The Radboudumc Centre of Expertise for Parkinson’s Disease & Movement Disorders was supported by a Center of Excellence Grant of the Parkinson’s Foundation.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed by Jon Stone, Edinburgh, UK.
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