Movement disorders are neurological disorders in which there is an abnormality in normal body movements. Movement disorders are often associated with changes in areas of the brain that help us move. These changes can cause extra unwanted involuntary movements, called hyperkinesias or a paucity of automatic and purposeful movements, not related to weakness or spasticity, called hypokinesia. Some of the most common movement disorders are listed below:
Hypokinesias: decreased range, slowness, loss of movement
- Parkinson disease
- Parkinsonism/Parkinson-Plus syndromes
- Diffuse Lewy Body Disease (DLBD)
Hyperkinesias: extra, excessive movements
- Restless Legs Syndrome
A complete medical history and thorough neurological examination are required to make an accurate diagnosis. Movement disorders, once correctly diagnosed, can respond to treatment.
Our primary goal is to provide the highest quality of care to our patients in a thorough and compassionate manner. Our clinicians will spend a major part of every visit teaching you and helping you and your family better understand your movement disorder. Together we will decide with you and your family the best possible therapy for your condition. In addition, as an academic center, we have a mission to develop better treatments and eventually cures’ for movement disorders. This can only be accomplished with the help of our patients and their families. Together we hope to identify the earliest changes in the brain that result in involuntary movements, define genetic or environmental contributions to this process, test new therapies and improve the lives of people with these disorders.
The Movement Disorders Center excels in the diagnosis and treatment of movement disorders, emphasizing an individualized approach that helps each patient manage their symptoms and optimize their quality of life.
Patients benefit from:
- Comprehensive and multidisciplinary clinical evaluation and treatment:
We collaborate closely with specialists in the Voice Clinic (Dr. A. Reed Thompson), Genetics, Psychiatry, Speech Pathology, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Social Services. These multidisciplinary services allow us to treat all aspects of the disease process and focus on the whole patient, ensuring the best quality of life.
- An expert neurological staff specially trained in the recognition and treatment of movement disorders
We currently have two movement disorders specialists who work along with a nurse and other support staff to provide you with the best care possible. We are also in the process of hiring a nurse practitioner and our goal is to continue to expand the number of movement disorders specialists at our center. Our ultimate goal is to establish a stand-alone movement disorders center with a multidisciplinary team focused on the care of patients with movement disorders that includes Neurology, Neurosurgery, Psychiatry and Rehabilitation Medicine.
- Access to a broad spectrum of treatment options, including conventional medications, botulinum toxin injections, and neurosurgery
Our movement disorders specialists are skilled professionals with the knowledge and experience to define a treatment plan that is best suited to your individual needs and concerns. This can involve:
Medication management: We strive to keep up to date with the latest advances in the medical management of movement disorders. Our specialists typically attend at least one national conference per year for this purpose in addition to accessing the latest peer-reviewed academic publications.
Botulinum toxin injections: Our physicians are trained to recognize and treat conditions that are best suited to treatment with botulinum toxin (such as focal dystonias) or conditions that are refractory to medication management. These can be performed with or without electrophysiologic guidance depending upon the muscle being injected.
Deep Brain Stimulator Surgery: In certain conditions that are, or become, refractory to medication management, deep brain stimulator surgery can be considered. If indicated, your case will be raised at a multidisciplinary team meeting including Neurology, Psychiatry and Neurosurgery, and the best decision made, along with your input, on whether to proceed with surgery. Our center is currently one of the fastest growing centers in the country for this procedure.
Rehabilitation: As our center grows our hope is to have physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy evaluations available to you in our clinic itself. Until then if you would benefit from such a consultation, a referral can be made for you to be seen at UAMS or closer to your home.
- An emphasis on patient education
We understand that there is a lot of misinformation freely available on the internet and we believe it is our goal to answer your questions to the fullest extent possible and guide you towards accurate resources that can help you and your family better understand your disease process as well as the therapies used to treat it, both current and investigational.
- Access to the latest research findings and therapies
As an academic institution, our goal is to provide you with the most up-to-date care available. This means access to the latest research findings and therapies. Research however cannot continue to expand without the help of our patients. You may be asked to participate in a study or clinical trial to further our knowledge on your disease condition. Please understand however there is no necessity for you to participate in order to remain in our care. For access to the latest clinical trials please visit clinicaltrials.gov.
Please call the UAMS Appointment Center at 501-686-8000 to schedule an appointment.
Erika Peterson, M.D.
Jennifer Gess, Ph.D.
Jennifer S. Kleiner, Ph.D.