Journal of Neurology

, 254:1366 | Cite as

Diagnostic accuracy of the clapping test in Parkinsonian disorders

  • W. F. Abdo
  • A. G. W. van Norden
  • K. F. de Laat
  • F-E. de Leeuw
  • G. F. Borm
  • M. M. Verbeek
  • P. H. P. Kremer
  • B. R. BloemEmail author



To determine the diagnostic value of the clapping test, which has been proposed as a reliable measure to differentiate between progressive supranuclear palsy (where performance is impaired) and Parkinson’s disease (where performance should be normal).


Our study group included a large cohort of consecutive outpatients including 44 patients with Parkinson's disease, 48 patients with various forms of atypical parkinsonism and 149 control subjects. All subjects performed the clapping test according to a standardized protocol.


Clapping test performance was normal in all control subjects, and impaired in 63% of the patients with atypical parkinsonism. Unexpectedly, we also found an impaired clapping test in 29% of the patients with Parkinson's disease.


Although the proportion with an abnormal clapping test was significantly higher in atypical parkinsonism, the clapping test did not discriminate well between Parkinson's disease and atypical parkinsonism.

Key words

movement disorders clapping test applause sign 


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Copyright information

© Steinkopff-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. F. Abdo
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. G. W. van Norden
    • 2
  • K. F. de Laat
    • 2
  • F-E. de Leeuw
    • 2
  • G. F. Borm
    • 3
  • M. M. Verbeek
    • 2
    • 4
  • P. H. P. Kremer
    • 2
  • B. R. Bloem
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Parkinson Centre Nijmegen (ParC), Institute of Neurology (935)Radboud University Nijmegen Medical CentreHB NijmegenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Institute of NeurologyRadboud University Nijmegen Medical CentreNijmegenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Dept. of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsRadboud University Nijmegen Medical CentreNijmegenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Laboratory of Paediatrics and NeurologyRadboud University Nijmegen Medical CentreNijmegenThe Netherlands

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