This chapter focuses on one of the most common types of neurologic disorders: altered walking. Walking impairment often reflects disease of the neurologic structures mediating gait, balance or, most often, both. These structures are distributed along the neuraxis. For this reason, this chapter is introduced by a brief description of the neurobiologic underpinning of walking, stressing information that is critical for imaging, namely, the anatomic representation of gait and balance mechanisms. This background is essential not only in order to direct the relevant imaging tools to the regions more likely to be affected but also to interpret correctly imaging findings that may not be related to the walking deficit object of clinical study. The chapter closes with a discussion on how to image some of the most frequent etiologies causing gait or balance impairment. However, it focuses on syndromes not already discussed in other chapters of this volume, such as Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders, already discussed in Chapter 48, or cerebellar ataxia, in Chapter 23, in the previous volume. As regards vascular disease, the spastic hemiplegia most characteristic of brain disease needs little discussion, while the less well-understood effects of microvascular disease are extensively reviewed here, together with the imaging approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)939-55
Number of pages17
JournalHandbook of Clinical Neurology
StatePublished - 2016


  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic
  • Humans
  • Neuroimaging
  • Postural Balance
  • Sensation Disorders
  • Journal Article
  • Review


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