"gunslinger's gait": A new cause of unilaterally reduced arm swing

Rui Araújo, Joaquim J. Ferreira, Angelo Antonini, Bastiaan R. Bloem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To postulate a new possible cause of a unilaterally reduced arm swing in addition to the known medical conditions such as shoulder pathology, Erb's palsy, stroke, and Parkinson's disease. Methods: Analysis of YouTube videos depicting the gait of highly ranked Russian officials. Results: We found a similar walking pattern in President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and three other highly ranked Russian officials, all presenting with a consistently reduced right arm swing in the absence of other overt neurological abnormalities. Conclusions: We propose that this new gait pattern, which we term "gunslinger's gait," may result from a behavioural adaptation, possibly triggered by KGB or other forms of weapons training where trainees are taught to keep their right hand close to the chest while walking, allowing them to quickly draw a gun when faced with a foe. This should be included in the differential diagnosis of a unilaterally reduced arm swing.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberh6141
JournalBritish Medical Journal
Publication statusPublished - Dec 14 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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