Festinant Gait, Festination
Festinant gait or festination is a gait disorder characterized by rapid short steps (Latin: festinare, to hurry, hasten, accelerate) due to inadequate maintenance of the body’s centre of gravity over the legs. To avoid falling and to maintain balance the patient must "chase" the centre of gravity, leading to an increasing speed of gait and a tendency to fall forward when walking (propulsion). A similar phenomenon may be observed if the patient is pulled backward (retropulsion). Festination may be associated with freezing of gait.
Festination is common in idiopathic Parkinson’s disease; it is associated with longer duration of disease and higher Hoehn & Yahr stage. Festination may be related to the flexed posture and impaired postural reflexes commonly seen in these patients. It is less common in symptomatic causes of parkinsonism, but has been reported, for example in aqueduct stenosis.
Leheta O, Boschert J, Krauss JK, Whittle IR. Festination as the leading symptom of late onset idiopathic aqueduct stenosis. Journal ofNeurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 2002; 73: 599-600