Astasia-abasia, or psychogenic gait disorder, is an uncommon neurological disorder that causes difficulty initiating and controlling movements when walking.
Astasia-abasia is thought to be caused by abnormal brain and nervous system signals to disrupt the ability to coordinate muscle movements for walking. It can be related to a psychological disorder or deep psychological trauma affecting a person's sense of regular activity.
Someone with astasia-abasia may experience periods of natural walking and falls, lasting from seconds to minutes or even hours.
There is no definitive treatment for astasia-abasia, but supportive treatments like psychological counseling, physical therapy, and medications can help reduce the disorder's symptoms.
Most people with astasia-abasia will experience issues controlling their body during movement, such as walking with an unsteady and stiff gait.
When walking, people suffering from this condition may exhibit exaggerated body sway, which can worsen when tired.
Persistent fear and anxiety can also be linked to astasia-abasia, and those affected may seem hesitant to walk certain distances or environments.
There are some clinical tests for testing for astasia-abasia, like the pendulum test or the standing stance test, which help doctors to diagnose the condition.
Physical therapy and psychological treatments are effective in controlling the symptoms of astasia-abasia, although the condition is usually considered permanent.
The symptoms of astasia-abasia can affect a person's range of motion, and they may experience difficulty maintaining balance, turning, or negotiating obstacles.
A person suffering from astasia-abasia can benefit from assistive devices like walking sticks, frames, canes, and wheelchairs to aid in regular movement.