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Abasia (from Greek: a-, without and basis, step) is the inability to walk due to impaired muscle coordination. The American Heritage Medical Dictionary defines abasia as "Inability to walk due to impaired muscular coordination.a" [1]

The term literaly means that the base of gait (the lateral distance between the two feet) is inconstant or unmeasurable. When seen in conversion disorder, the gait is bizarre and is not suggestive of a specific organic lesion: often the patient sways wildly and nearly falls, recovering at the last moment.

There are many causes of abasia including: muscle, joint, nerve, or bone disorders in the legs; damage or malformation of the spinal cord and damage or malformation of the brain. So an acquired total inability to stand and walk can also be seen in true neurological disorders, including stroke, Parkinson disease, damage to the cerebellum, and many others.

The term covers a spectrum of medical disorders such as:

  • choreic abasia: caused by chorea of the legs
  • paralytic abasia: caused by paralysis of the leg muscles
  • spastic abasia: caused by spastic stiffening of the leg muscles
  • trembling abasia: caused by trembling of the legs

An associated term is dysbasia, a partial abasia

Abasia is frequently accompanied by astasis, an inability to stand, the inability to maintain station (stand upright) unassisted.

See alsoEdit


ReferencesEdit

  1. The American Heritage Medical Dictionary. KMLE Medical Dictionary Definition of abasia.
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