Gait Disturbances in Patients With Autistic Behavior: A Preliminary Study

Joel A. Vilensky, Antonio R. Damasio, Ralph G. Maurer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

179 Scopus citations


Kinesiologic analysis of the gaits of 21 autistic, 15 normal, and five hyperactive-aggressive children revealed that the autistic patients had (a) reduced stride lengths, (b) increased stance times, (c) increased hip flexion at “toe-off,” and (d) decreased knee extension and ankle dorsiflexion at ground contact. In many respects, the gait differences between the autistic and normal subjects resembled differences between the gaits of parkinsonian patients and of normal adults. These preliminary results are compatible with the view that the autistic syndrome may be associated with specific dysfunction of the motor system affecting, among other structures, the basal ganglia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)646-649
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Neurology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology

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