Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews vol:43 pages:213-227
Besides the continuous motor impairments that characterize Parkinson’s disease (PD), patients are frequently troubled by sudden paroxysmal arrests or brief episodes of movement breakdown, referred to as ‘freezing’. Freezing of gait (FOG) is common in advanced PD and typically occurs in walking conditions that challenge dynamic motor-cognitive control. Mounting evidence suggests that episodic motor phenomena during repetitive upper limb (e.g. writing), lower limb (e.g. foot tapping) and speech sequences resemble FOG and may share some underlying neural mechanisms. However, the precise association between gait and non-gait freezing phenomena remains controversial. This review aimed to clarify this association based on literature on non-gait freezing published between 2000 and 2013. We focused on clinical and epidemiological features of the episodes and their relevance to current influential models of FOG, including recent neuroimaging studies that used a non-gait freezing paradigm as a proxy for FOG. Although not capturing the full complexity of FOG, the neurobehavioral insights obtained with non-gait freezing paradigms will contribute to an increased understanding of disturbed brain-behavior output in PD.