Movement Disorders

If you are diagnosed with a movement disorder, you want to get the best treatment possible. MaineHealth offers the most advanced medical and surgical treatments for movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, essential tremors and Tourette’s syndrome.

What are movement disorders?

Movement disorders are a group of conditions that affect your nervous system. They cause parts of your body to move without you having control over it. There are many different types of movement disorders such as:

  • Ataxia Syndrome

  • Dystonia

  • Essential Tremor

  • Huntington Disease

  • Myoclonus

  • Parkinson Disease

  • Parkinsonism

  • Restless Leg Syndrome

  • Rhett Syndrome

  • Tourette’s Syndrome

     

Who is at risk of movement disorders?

In order to move the way you want to, your brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles all need to work together. Damage or malfunction to any of these may cause a movement disorder. The following may increase a person’s risk of movement disorders:

  • Aging

  • Environmental toxins

  • Genetic disorders

  • Medications

  • Stroke

  • Family history of movement disorder

Movement disorder symptoms

The symptoms of a movement disorder can vary depending on the type of disorder. In most of the types, the involuntary movements start mild or slow and get worse over time. The involuntary movements can be made worse by stress, anxiety, fatigue and some medications. They may include:

  • Tremors (shaking)

  • Jerks and twitches

  • Muscle contraction, such as a clenched hand or twisted foot

  • Gait (walking) problems

Diagnosis and treatment

Most screening tests for movement disorders will include a physical exam, blood tests and imaging tests, such as CT scan, MRI or PET scan. The treatment options depend on the type of disorder. Some options are:

  • Physical therapy

  • Medications

  • Botox injections

  • Surgery

Your primary healthcare provider may refer you to a neurologist for further evaluation and specialized treatment.

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