The ability to walk safely, easily, and in an aesthetically pleasing manner is
a skill learned early and highly prized. Although it is typically taken for
granted, gait is key to mobility and functional independence and at the
core of our ability to carry out many activities of daily living. In older adults
and patients with neurological deficits, ease and safety in walking may
become compromised, and gait is often viewed as abnormal, i.e., as a disorder.
While not an inevitable part of aging, gait disorders are common
among older adults and in patients with neurological disease.
Movement disorders represent major causes of neurological disability and
eventual mortality affecting millions of people across the globe. From
Parkinson’s disease to spasticity, these neurological disorders devastate
young and old worldwide. While progress continues to be made toward
effective treatment, many limitations remain.
The combination of the limitation of medical therapy and surgical
technological advances have, however, led to an exponential growth in functional
neurosurgery in the last 5 years.
There has been a major resurgence in stereotactic neurosurgery for the treatment
of Parkinson’s disease and tremor in the past several years. More recently,
interest has also been rekindled in stereotactic neurosurgery for the treatment of
dystonia and other movement disorders.