More than 30 different diseases, affecting almost 40 million Americans, are identified as neurological movement disorders. These disorders, which include Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, myokymia, and restless leg syndrome, range from mild to severe, are usually chronic, sometimes progressive, and seldom curable.
Although many movement disorders are not life threatening, they can significantly impair patients’ ability to function well and independently. Depression and other mental problems are often associated with movement disorders.
At WVU, patients with movement disorders receive treatment aimed at improving quality of life. Our neurologists who specialize in movement disorders work together with experts from all related fields including neurosurgery, neuropsychology, neuropsychiatry, physical and occupational therapy, and otolaryngology to help patients regain optimal motor control of their bodies.
WVU neurologists perform the initial assessment of patients who present with difficulties related to muscle movement, and, in some cases, may be the only specialists that patients need to see. When surgical intervention is indicated, patients are referred to WVU’s staff of skilled neurosurgeons, who work closely with our neurologists to develop appropriate treatment plans.
Most patients can find significant relief with modern treatments, including medications, surgery, injections, physical therapy, and implantable devices.
Movement disorders originate deep in the brain. They affect both children and adults. The symptoms vary widely, making diagnosis sometimes difficult. Causes are often unknown but may include genetic and environmental factors, injury to the brain such as stroke, the side effects of medications, and others.