Parkinson's Disease & Movement Disorders
Cleveland Clinic Florida’s physicians are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. Our multidisciplinary approach to care brings together a team of specialists including neurologists and neurosurgeons to provide medical management and innovative surgical options, such as deep brain stimulation, for these complex neurological diseases.
The Department of Neurology is dedicated to advancing the treatment of Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders such as Dystonia, Essential tremor, Huntington's disease, Chorea, Tourette's syndrome, Restless legs syndrome and Cerebellar ataxia. Our neurologists utilize state of the art equipment and unique diagnostic techniques such as DaTSCAN, a radiopharmaceutical agent used in SPECT imaging, to help confirm a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease and rule out other diseases with similar symptoms. We also offer our patients botulinum toxin therapy for spasticity and some types of movement disorders.
You may schedule an appointment online or by calling 877.463.2010.
What We Treat In South Florida
The specialists at The Pauline Braathen Neurological Center provide high quality care and treatment for complex neurological conditions. Using a multidisciplinary approach that brings together a team of specialists, we offer medical management and innovative surgical options for patients diagnosed with a variety of movement disorders including:
- Parkinson’s Disease and Parkinsonian Syndrome - a chronic and progressive neurological disease that causes dopamine producing cells in a small area of the brain to die. This loss of dopamine in the brain causes nerve cells to fire out of control resulting in tremors, stiffness and loss of movement control.
- Dystonia - a chronic movement disorder that causes involuntary contractions of your muscles resulting in twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal postures. These involuntary and sometimes painful movements may affect a single muscle or various muscles in the body.
- Essential Tremor - a neurological condition characterized by tremors or uncontrollable shaking in the hands, arms, head and other parts of the body.
- Huntington’s Disease and Chorea - an inherited condition that affects the brain and causes unsteady and uncontrollable movements in the hands, feet, and face, and mental illness symptoms. These abnormal movements eventually affect such activities as walking, talking, and swallowing.
- Tourette’s Syndrome and Tics - an abnormal neurological condition characterized by rapid, sudden repetitive movements and vocal tics.
- Restless Legs Syndrome - a sleep disorder characterized by an irresistible urge to move one’s legs to stop uncomfortable sensations such as tingling, pulling, creeping, or pain. It can also affect the arms, torso or legs and is brought on by lying down in bed or sitting for prolonged periods of time.
Current medical treatment of Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders often involves the use of medication to help improve movement symptoms. Some of the medications used in treating movement disorders help produce dopamine to replenish the low amount in the brain that causes the resulting tremors, stiffness and loss of movement control. In some cases where oral drug therapy has failed, your physician may recommend injections of very small doses of highly purified botulinum toxin into the muscles to reduce tremors and muscle spasms.
Surgical treatment, known as deep brain stimulation (DBS), is often recommended for patients whose movement symptoms have caused a decline in their quality of life and who have not responded favorably to medication therapies. This type of surgery is most often performed on patients with Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia and tremor due to multiple sclerosis. DBS surgery involves the implantation of a very thin lead containing four electrode contacts which are connected by an extension wire to an impulse generator or “pacemaker”. This pacemaker is then programmed to deliver electrical impulses to specific areas of the brain. These electrical impulses stimulate the brain to provide patients with relief from tremors, rigidity, slowness of movement and stiffness and can also improve balance problems associated with their neurological conditions. The stimulation produced by the impulse generated can be adjusted over time as the patient’s condition improves.
Deep brain stimulation surgery is very safe and effective with beneficial effects often lasting several years. Patients who have developed side effects to their medications can often see a 50 to 70 percent improvement in their movement symptoms and a significant reduction in their tremors. DBS patients have also reported an average of a 50 percent improvement in their walking and balance following surgery. Similarly, patients with involuntary movements (dyskinesia) due to their medications have noted more than 80 percent reduction in their involuntary movements. Most DBS patients are able to significantly reduce their medications after undergoing the procedure.
Clinical Trials in Florida
The Department of Neurology at Cleveland Clinic Florida is committed to providing our patients with the most advanced treatment options available. We continually strive to offer new research advancements including access to clinical therapeutic trials for patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. View a full list of clinical trails.