Parkinson's disease: A chronic, progressive, neurodegenerative movement disorder of the brain characterized by tremors (shaking) and difficulty walking, moving, and coordinating.
Huntington’s disease: An inherited brain disorder that results in the progressive loss of physical control and mental faculties.
Dystonia: A movement disorder characterized by involuntary, continual muscular contractions. It can result in twisted, contorted postures of the body or limbs.
Essential tremor: The most common movement disorder is characterized by rhythmic shaking.
Parkinson's diseaseParkinson’s disease is a chronic, progressive neurodegenerative movement disorder. Characteristic primary symptoms of Parkinson’s include tremors, rigidity, slow movement (bradykinesia), poor balance, and difficulty walking (referred to as “parkinsonian gait”). Primary symptoms’ definitions:
- Bradykinesia is slowness in voluntary movement. It produces difficulty initiating movement and difficulty completing movement once it is in progress. Delayed transmission of signals from the brain to the skeletal muscles, due to diminished dopamine, produces bradykinesia.
- Tremors in the hands, fingers, forearms, or feet tend to occur when a limb is at rest but not when performing tasks. Tremors can also occur in the mouth and chin.
- Rigidity (or stiff muscles) can produce muscle pain and an expressionless, mask-like face, and it tends to increase during movement.
- Poor balance happens when there is an impairment or loss of reflexes that adjust posture to help maintain balance.
- Parkinsonian gait is a distinctive unsteady walk associated with Parkinson’s disease. There is a tendency to lean unnaturally backward or forward, and to develop a stooped, head-down, shoulders-drooped stance. Arm swinging is diminished or absent, and people with Parkinson’s tend to take small shuffling steps (referred to as festination).
Huntington’s disease is an inherited brain disorder that results in the progressive loss of physical control and mental faculties. Symptoms can include:
- Personality changes, mood swings, and depression
- Forgetfulness and impaired judgment
- Unsteady gait and involuntary movements
- Slurred speech and difficulty swallowing
Dystonia is a movement disorder characterized by involuntary, continual muscular contractions. It can result in twisted, contorted postures of the body or limbs. Movements are usually slow and may appear exaggerated. The many causes of this movement disorder include biochemical abnormalities, degenerative disorders, psychiatric dysfunction, toxins and drugs.
Essential tremorEssential tremor is the most common movement disorder and is characterized by rhythmic shaking that occurs during voluntary movement (action tremor), such as lifting a cup to one's mouth or while voluntarily maintaining a position against gravity (postural tremor), such as reaching or extending one's hand or arm. It is less common when at rest.
Some patients may have a family history of tremors that usually involves the arms and hands. The neurological exam is otherwise normal. If the tremor is disabling, medication can be useful.
Why choose us
Disorders such as these often have varied symptoms that appear at different times and may seem unrelated. Because of this, the specialists at MedStar Health provide detailed, comprehensive evaluations that lead to a more accurate diagnosis, as well as an individualized treatment plan tailored for each patient.
Our multidisciplinary teams consist of:
Combining their expertise, these doctors work to improve a patient's quality of life by finding the right combination of therapies, which may include:
Physical and speech therapy
Deep brain stimulation
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