Movement Disorders

Movement disorders are a group of nervous system (neurological) conditions that cause either increased movements or reduced or slow movements.

Common types of movement disorders include:

  • Ataxia: This movement disorder affects the part of the brain that controls coordinated movement. Ataxia may cause uncoordinated or clumsy balance, speech or limb movements, and other symptoms.
  • Dystonia: This condition involves sustained involuntary muscle contractions with twisting, repetitive movements. Dystonia may affect the entire body or one part of the body.
  • Huntington’s disease: This is an inherited, progressive disease that can be confirmed with genetic testing. Huntington’s disease has three components: uncontrolled movements, cognitive issues and psychiatric conditions.
  • Parkinson’s disease: This slowly progressive disease causes tremor, muscle stiffness, slow or decreased movement, or imbalance. It also may also cause other symptoms not related to movement, such as reduced sense of smell, constipation, acting out dreams and a decline in cognition.
  • Parkinsonism: Parkinsonism is a general term for slowness of movement along with stiffness, tremor or loss of balance. There are many different causes. Parkinson’s disease and certain dopamine-blocking medications are the most common causes. Other causes include degenerative disorders such as multiple system atrophy and progressive supranuclear palsy. Stroke or repeated head trauma also can cause parkinsonism.
  • Restless legs syndrome: This movement disorder causes unpleasant feelings in the legs while relaxing or lying down, often relieved by movement.
  • Torticollis (also called cervical dystonia): This condition causes the neck muscles contract involuntarily, causing the head to pull to one side or to tilt forward or backward. There may be shaking.
  • Tourette syndrome: This is a neurological condition that starts between childhood and teenage years and is associated with repetitive movements and vocal sounds.
  • Tremor: This movement disorder causes rhythmic shaking of parts of the body, such as the hands, head or other body parts. The most common type is essential tremor.

Types of abnormal movement

There are two kinds of abnormal movement:

  • Hyperkinetic
  • Hypokinetic

A movement disorder can be both of these or just one.

Hyperkinetic movement disorders mean there is increased movement. It can affect voluntary movement (actions you choose to take) or cause involuntary movement (actions that happen without your control). Tremors and tics are two hyperkinetic movements.

Hypokinetic movement disorders involve decreased or slow movement. It generally affects voluntary movement. Hypokinetic brain conditions cause slowed movements, rigidity (stiffness), tremor or trouble with balance.

Do I Need a Movement Disorder Specialist?

If you notice unusual symptoms such as shaking hands or slower movements, you may want to consult your health care provider. If you are diagnosed with a movement disorder, a movement disorder specialist can help reduce your symptoms, help you be more comfortable and enhance your quality of life. The sooner you get this type of advanced care for movement disorders, the more likely you are to have better outcomes.

More patients with movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease seek care at Norton Neuroscience Institute than any other provider in Louisville or Southern Indiana.

Treatment Options

Norton Neuroscience Institute provides comprehensive care for patients with all types of movement disorders affecting the brain. Norton Neuroscience Institute Cressman Parkinson’s & Movement Disorders Center, located on the Norton Brownsboro Hospital campus,  offers comprehensive care of these complex medical conditions.

Neurologists, functional neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists and physical therapists work together to create a treatment plan encompassing medical, surgical and rehabilitation options. Newer treatments and services available for movement disorders include levodopa infusion pump therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery and a normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) clinic.

Neurosurgeons are fellowship trained to surgically treat movement disorders through interventions such as deep brain stimulation (DBS). We offer both awake and asleep DBS. Thanks to advancements in technology, asleep DBS is possible using intraoperative MRI and CT scans that map the brain in three dimensions for more accurate targeting. Other potential benefits of asleep DBS include lower risk of hemorrhage and reduced anxiety  — and patients do not have to stop their medication on the day of surgery. Follow-up care after DBS is offered through as well. In addition, a dedicated patient navigator guides patients through their care journey, provides answers and connects them and their families with resources, including extensive support services, groups and classes.

Movement Disorders Specialists

Care That’s Focused on You

It’s part of Norton Neuroscience Institute’s goal to care for the whole person, not just the condition.

  • Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Centers offer ways to improve your access to care, provide valuable information on managing your disease and address your quality of life issues. The Norton Healthcare Foundation funds this important service, so patients don’t need to pay.
  • Dedicated patient navigators can help schedule follow-up appointments, coordinate prescription assistance, create customized diet plans and provide guidance on disability benefits, housing, financial and employment concerns and more.
  • Patients can access support groups, exercise classes and other educational events to connect with others and learn how to make the most of life while managing a neurological condition. 
  • Access an on-demand video library of educational content across a variety of condition-related topics is available.
  • We want to help prevent illness. Get help quitting smoking and learn the signs of stroke.
  • Communicate with your provider, manage appointments, refill prescriptions and more anytime from a computer or mobile device with a free Norton MyChart account.

A Louisville Leader in Neurological Care

More patients from Louisville and Southern Indiana seek their neurology and neurosurgery care from Norton Neuroscience Institute’s nationally recognized specialists than any other providers in the area.

Your Norton Neuroscience Institute medical provider has the expertise, experience, diagnostic tools and sophisticated treatments to provide care tailored to your needs.

  • More than 75 medical, surgical and research specialists are dedicated to providing innovative care to those with brain, spine and nervous system conditions.
  • Advanced, minimally invasive neurosurgery equipment can speed your recovery and minimize pain.
  • Multidisciplinary clinics provide easy access to care in one convenient appointment for your neurological condition, with specialists in oncology, cardiology, orthopedics and behavioral health.
  • Norton Healthcare’s four adult-service hospitals in Louisville are certified by DNV, recognizing excellence and expertise in stroke care.
    • Norton Brownsboro Hospital is recognized as a Comprehensive Stroke Center.
    • Norton Audubon Hospital and Norton Hospital are Primary Stroke Centers.
    • Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital is an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital.
  • Norton Neuroscience Institute is at the forefront of neuroscientific research. As investigators on numerous trials, our physicians contribute to groundbreaking studies and publications in peer-reviewed journals. Also, patients may be eligible to take part in these experimental treatments.
    Learn more about current neuroscience clinical trials and studies.
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  • The American Heart Association Get With the Guidelines stroke care program has recognized all four of Norton Healthcare’s adult service-hospitals in Louisville for exceeding national averages in getting patients in the door and administering lifesaving treatment to restore blood flow to the brain.
  • Norton Neuroscience Institute’s multiple sclerosis (MS) program has been designated a Center for Comprehensive MS Care by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
  • The National Association of Epilepsy Centers has recognized Norton Neuroscience Institute as a Level 4 Epilepsy Center, providing the highest level of medical and surgical evaluation and treatment for patients with complex epilepsy.
  • Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center navigators help educate patients and their families about new diagnoses, available treatments and ways to manage their disease.
  • We are listed by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of 100 great neurosurgery and spine programs.

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