What are Movement Disorders?
More than 42 million people have some type of movement disorder. That number may seem surprising, but there are many different types. A movement disorder is a neurological condition that causes abnormal movements. Here are some of the most commonly known movement disorders:
- Ataxia – a lack of muscle coordination and control of voluntary movements like walking and picking up objects
- Dystonia – uncontrollable muscle contraction
- Essential tremor – a brain disorder that includes uncontrollable shaking of one or more body parts; most often the hands
- Huntington’s disease – includes both involuntary movement and impaired voluntary movements
- Myoclonus – twitching and seizures caused by an involuntary, sudden contraction of the muscle
- Parkinson’s disease – a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement
- Restless leg syndrome – a condition that causes an uncomfortable sensation in the legs that gives the individual the urge to move their legs
- Tourette’s syndrome – a neurological disorder that involves sudden repetitive, involuntary movements, twitches and vocalizations known as tics
There are treatments available, from prescription medications to surgery, that can help reduce the symptoms of some movement disorders.
“One of the procedures we perform to help people who have movement disorders is deep brain stimulation,” said Tiffany Whitaker, director, Memorial Comprehensive Stroke Center. “In this procedure, electrodes are implanted in the brain and a pacemaker-like device called a neurostimulator delivers electrical impulses that can help relieve symptoms.”
Memorial Medical Center has an experienced neurosciences team, including neurologists, neurosurgeons and neurointerventional radiologists, who collaborate with rehabilitation professionals to diagnose and treat movement disorders.