Open Today 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
|Monday||8:30 AM - 5:00 PM|
|Tuesday||8:30 AM - 5:00 PM|
|Wednesday||8:30 AM - 5:00 PM|
|Thursday||8:30 AM - 5:00 PM|
|Friday||8:30 AM - 5:00 PM|
(864) 454-4505 FAX
Types of Movement Disorders
- Parkinson’s disease
- Essential tremor
- Restless legs syndrome
- Huntington’s disease
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Progressive supranuclear palsy
- Multiple system atrophy
- Corticobasal degeneration
Movement Disorder Services
- Movement Disorders Clinic
- Lee Silverman method for speech therapy
- Programming for deep brain stimulation
Meet Patty Stutts. Patty has struggled with Parkinson’s disease for years. Read about her experience and how Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) has helped her cope with her disease.
Movement disorders are a group a diseases and syndromes affecting the ability to control movement. There are many movement disorders and the most common is Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive degenerative neurological disease that increases in severity over time. At GHS, our goal is to offer complete care for Parkinson’s patients as their disease progresses.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s Disease is a disorder of the brain that leads to shaking (tremors) and difficulty with walking, movement, and coordination. The disease most often develops after age 50. It is one of the most common nervous system disorders of the elderly. Sometimes Parkinson’s disease occurs in younger adults, but is rarely seen in children. It affects both men and women.
Nerve cells use a brain chemical called dopamine to help control muscle movement. Parkinson’s disease occurs when the nerve cells in the brain that make dopamine are slowly destroyed. Without dopamine, the nerve cells in that part of the brain cannot properly send messages. This leads to the loss of muscle function. The damage becomes worse with time. Exactly why the brain cells waste away is unknown. There is no known cure for Parkinson’s disease, the goal of treatment is to control symptoms.
Medications control symptoms, mostly by increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain. At certain points during the day, the helpful effects of the medication often wear off and symptoms can return. If that occurs, your doctor might make a change in medication, including:
- Type of medication
- Amount of time between doses
- Way that medications are taken
Work closely with your doctors and therapists to adjust the treatment program. Never change or stop taking any medications without talking with your doctor. Many medications can cause severe side effects, including hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and delirium. Monitoring and follow-up by the health care provider is important. Eventually, symptoms such as stooped posture, frozen movements, and speech difficulties may not respond very well to drug treatment.
Lifestyle changes may be helpful for those with Parkinson’s disease include:
- Good general nutrition and health
- Exercising, while adjusting the activity level to meet changing energy levels
- Regular rest periods and avoiding stress
- Physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy
- Railings or banisters placed in commonly used areas of the house
- Special eating utensils
Social workers or other counseling providers can help you cope with the disorder and get assistance (such as Meals-on-Wheels).
In 2012, Bill McCauley lost his battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and Parkinson’s Disease. His wife and children share his story in this video and explain how the GHS Neurological Institute can help families like theirs in the Upstate and beyond.
Medications used to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:
- Levodopa (L-dopa), Sinemet, levodopa and carbidopa (Atamet)
- Pramipexole (Mirapex), ropinirole (Requip), bromocriptine (Parlodel)
- Selegiline (Eldepryl, Deprenyl), rasagiline (Azilect)
- Amantadine or anticholinergic medications — to reduce early or mild tremors
- Entacapone — to prevent the breakdown of levodopa
Less commonly, surgery may be an option for patients with very severe Parkinson’s disease who no longer respond to many medications. These surgeries do not cure Parkinson’s, but may help some patients. In deep brain stimulation (DBS), the surgeon implants electrical stimulators in specific areas of the brain to help with movement. Another type of surgery destroys brain tissues that cause Parkinson’s symptoms. For more information about the diagnosis and treatment options for Parkinson’s Disease and other movement disorders, call our office at (864) 454-4500.