and other movement disorders
Duke neurologists treat the full range of movement disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, essential tremor and dystonia. As a National Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, we are recognized for our research, care and comprehensive services. We offer the latest medications and treatments, as well as comprehensive support services to improve your quality of life.
Effective treatment for movement disorders
If you or someone you know suffers from a movement disorder, our team of caring specialists are here to help. As a National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence, we offer the latest medications to treat Parkinson’s disease, as well as other movement disorders. We are experts in deep brain stimulation, a procedure that can relieve symptoms by targeting an electric current on specific areas of your brain. It’s a highly effective treatment option for Parkinson’s, disease dystonia and essential tremor.
Treating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders requires a full range of support services - from occupational and speech therapy to exercise classes and support groups that provide emotional support from social workers and other Parkinson’s patients. Our support groups and clinical services work together to help you control your symptoms and improve your quality of life, so you can live a life as normal as possible.
Choose Duke for treatment of your movement disorder because we offer:
- Comprehensive care. We run a comprehensive program for movement disorders with specially trained neurologists and neurosurgeons, social workers, and physical, occupational and speech therapists. We run one of the largest Huntington’s disease clinics in the Southeast.
- National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence. We are recognized for outstanding performance in Parkinson’s research, care and outreach.
- Latest diagnostic and medical advances. We use the GE DaTscan, the first FDA-approved imaging test for help diagnosing Parkinson’s. Our research ensures we are up-to-date on the newest drugs and therapies available today, while our scientists work to identify even better treatment options.
- Research leaders. Our scientists have made significant discoveries about the genetics of Parkinson’s, helping us develop more effective and targeted treatments.
- Clinical trial access. You may be eligible to participate in our clinical trials, which are open to people with early to advanced Parkinson’s disease. We test new therapies that may help relieve your symptoms or slow the progression of the disease.
PARKINSON'S AND OTHER MOVEMENT DISORDERS
Our treatment options help relieve your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Improve the symptoms of movement disorders. For Parkinson’s patients, the most effective medication is Carbidopa-levodopa (Sinemet). We also offer the full range of drugs used to treat movement disorders, including MAO and COMT inhibitors and dopamine agonists, among others. They work in different ways to increase levels of dopamine, the brain chemical that helps control your symptoms, such as difficulty walking or tremors.
DBS is an option for patients whose symptoms fail to respond to medications, or who experience serious side effects from medications. DBS is an effective treatment for patients with Parkinson’s, essential tremor and dystonia. Electrodes are implanted directly onto your brain to stimulate a specific region and interfere with the abnormal activity associated with your symptoms.
Programs designed specifically for Parkinson’s patients meet several times a week at the Duke Health and Fitness Center. The exercises help you control your motor symptoms.
Comprehensive physical and occupational, is delivered by highly trained therapists who specialize in issues relating to Parkinson’s. Therapists are available on site for patient evaluation and treatment, and to offer education to your families.
Our speech-language pathologists help you adapt to changes in speech and cognitive-communication, as well as swallowing difficulties that may accompany Parkinson's and other movement disorders. Our speech pathologists also undergo rigorous training and are certified to provide Lee Silverman Voice Treatment, an intensive program that improves speech and voice in people with Parkinson's disease. We can also help you develop successful strategies for communication and swallowing as your disease progresses, and help you learn to use augmentative and alternative communication, when appropriate.
We offer discussions, classes and support groups to help you or your loved one cope with your diagnosis. Contact our movement disorders center at 919-684-5128 for information on our monthly Parkinson’s support group.
Provides counseling services to patients with movement disorders as well as their families. We can offer referrals to a wide range of support services, including, home health care, support groups, medical disability, and other assistance programs.
PARKINSON'S AND OTHER MOVEMENT DISORDERS
Doctors typically diagnose movement disorders based on your symptoms, a complete medical history and a physical and neurological exam. We also offer the DaTscan, which is the first FDA-approved imaging test for evaluating Parkinson’s.
SPECT imaging scan detects levels of dopamine transporters (DaT) in areas of your brain. DaTscan cannot detect Parkinson’s disease, but it can confirm a diagnosis if it is already suspected.