Original Editor - Simisola Ajeyalemi

Top Contributors - Simisola Ajeyalemi and Rucha Gadgil  

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Bradykinesia is a term used to describe slowness of movement. It can be defined as the slowness of movement with a decrease in amplitude and speed as movement continues. [1][2]

It usually manifest as difficulty initiating movement , reduced movement and can impact an individual's ability to carry out activities of daily living. Bradykinesia is a classic symptom of Parkinson's disease[3][1] and can also be a side effect of some medications.

The pathophysiology of bradykinesia is not fully understood, it's however thought that the basal ganglia fails to reinforce cortical mechanism in preparation and performance of movement. [3]


Clinical Presentation[edit | edit source]

  • Hypomimia- loss of or limited facial expressions
  • Hypophonia
  • Difficulty with fine motor activities
  • Reduced arm swings when walking
  • Shuffling steps when walking
  • Small cramped handwriting

Bradykinesia Assessment[edit | edit source]

Rapid alternating movements in the upper and lower extremity can be used to establish the diagnosis of bradykinesia in a patient. During these movements, the examiner looks out for a decline in the rate and/or amplitude of movement.[5]

Bradykinesia can be assessed with the following test:

  • Finger Tapping
  • Fist open/close
  • Pronation/supination of the hand
  • Toe tapping
  • Heel tapping

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Postuma RB, Berg D, Stern M, Poewe W, Olanow CW, Oertel W, et al. MDS clinical diagnostic criteria for Parkinson's disease. Mov Disord 2015; 30: 1591–601.
  2. Berg D, Adler CH, Bloem BR, Chan P, Gasser T, Goetz CG, et al. Movement disorder society criteria for clinically established early Parkinson's disease. Mov Disord 2018; 33: 1643–6.
  3. 3.0 3.1 A. Berardelli, J. C. Rothwell, P. D. Thompson, M. Hallett, Pathophysiology of bradykinesia in Parkinson's disease, Brain, Volume 124, Issue 11, November 2001, Pages 2131–2146
  4. Fort Worth Brain and Spine Institiute. Available from
  5. Jankovic J. Parkinson’s disease: Clinical features and diagnosis. J Neurol, Neurosurg & Psychiatr. 2008;79(4):368–76.