News in Motion, Spring 2011 (PDF, 451 KB)
Movement disorders are neurological conditions that cause involuntary or abnormal movement affecting your speed, quality, and ease of movement. Movement disorder symptoms often vary and fluctuate and are caused by diseases in various parts of the brain.
The movement disorders program at Duke is a multidisciplinary group of neurological specialists dedicated to providing comprehensive specialty and subspecialty care to patients with movement disorders.
The most common of these conditions treated at Duke are:
We also treat other conditions such as ataxia, choreia, hemiballismus, hemifacial spasm, myoclonus tremor, restless leg syndrome, Tardive dyskinesia, and Tourette syndrome.
Some 1.5 million Americans suffer from Parkinson’s disease (PD), a degenerative neurological disorder characterized by stiffness, tremor (shaking), and lack of balance and coordination, and approximately 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.
PD ultimately causes patients to lose the ability to control movement.
A recognized champion in the battle against PD, Duke’s multidisciplinary team of specialists offers exceptional diagnostic services, patient care, and support services.
Our clinicians are sensitive to the particular needs of families living with PD, and we can help in a number of ways -- from drug treatment to physical and occupational therapy to support services.
A key player on the PD research front for many years, Duke scientists can be credited with making a number of significant discoveries about the disease. PD research at Duke is coordinated by the Morris K. Udall Parkinson’s Disease Research Center of Excellence, a division of the renowned Duke Center for Human Genetics.
Duke's Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy provides quality care directed at evaluation and improvement of function. The staff is experienced in working with patients with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. Therapists are available on site to meet the needs of patients by offering evaluation and treatment as well as providing education to the patient and their families. The speech pathology clinic provides services to those patients with speech and swallowing difficulties.
Our team of social workers collaborates with the medical team to ensure optimal patient outcomes. They provide direct patient support through counseling services and offer resources to patients and their families to include information regarding home health care, support groups, medical disability, and numerous other assistance programs.
Current clinical research efforts are highly focused on Parkinson’s disease and involve the study of motor symptoms, such as wearing-off and dyskinesias, and non-motor symptoms, including impulse control disorders, such as pathological gambling, and psychosis, and cognitive disorders.
Clinical trials help develop new and innovative treatments for illnesses including Parkinson’s disease. The clinical trials program at Duke is well established and offers multiple trials for patients with early to advanced Parkinson’s disease.
These trials may provide symptomatic therapy as well as potential neuroprotective intervention. Clinical trials are the means by which Parkinson’s patients today can improve the treatment of Parkinson’s disease in the future.
For more information about the services Duke offers to Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders patients, or to get a referral or schedule an appointment, call 888-ASK-DUKE (888-275-3853).
Physicians offering this service include:
This service is available at: