Movement disorders is a term used to describe a group of neurological (affecting the nervous system) conditions that impact a patient’s movements. Depending on the specific disorder, its stage and severity, and a variety of other factors, a patient may experience a range of movement difficulties, including a lack of fluency and/or speed (dyskinesia), loss of and/or slowed voluntary movement (hypokinemia), and involuntary movements (hyperkinesia).
Some of the most common types of movement disorders include:
- Parkinson’s disease – This is the most common form of Parkinsonism, which is a group of motor system diseases. It is a degenerative disorder that progresses slowly and is caused by the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells.
- Essential tremor – Essential tremor (ET) is often inherited and is one of the most common movement disorders. It is a progressive disease that typically begins in early adulthood and usually causes tremors when a patient’s hands are being used for activities, such as drinking and when the arms are held up.
- Dystonia – This disorder is caused by over activity in the main muscles, the involuntary activation of muscles that work against each other, and over activity in muscles that are not required for movement.
- Ataxia – Causing a lack of muscle control in the arms and legs, ataxia may affect a patient’s balance and coordination. This disorder may also affect other areas of the body, including eye movement, speech, and hands.
- Huntington’s disease – This is a progressive, inherited disease that most commonly presents in people during their 30s or 40s. It causes degeneration of nerve cells in the brain and has a broad effect on a patient’s movement and cognitive abilities.
At Tampa General Hospital, we have a team of physicians that specializes in treating a wide range of movement disorders. We take a comprehensive and individualized approach and use leading-edge techniques and technologies, such as deep brain stimulation (DBS), to treat our patient’s movement disorders, manage their symptoms, and improve quality of life.