Movement disorder is a broad term that describes a category of neurological conditions that impact the patient’s movement; including involuntary movement, loss and/or slowness of voluntary movement, movement difficulties, and lack of fluency and/or speed of movement.

Movement disorders can be genetic or caused by infections, medicines, damage to the brain, spinal cord, or peripheral nerves, autoimmune diseases, metabolic disorders, stroke and vascular disease, and/or toxins.

Treatment of movement disorder varies by the disorder itself and depends on the specific defect. Medicines can cure some disorders. Other disorders improve when the underlying disease causing the disorder is treated. Unfortunately, most disorders have no cure. In these cases, the treatment goal is to slow the progression of the disease and to control muscle movement. In general, the focus is on reducing pain and improving quality of life as much as possible.


Unusual or persistent symptoms such as tremors, twitching, muscle spasms, gait while walking, clumsiness, and loss of balance may be signs of a movement disorder. Other symptoms include muscle weakness that impact fine motor skills, such as fastening a button or writing with pen.

Many diseases are considered movement disorders, but not all movement disorders the same. Some of them are manageable and don’t impact daily activities, and are not life-threatening. Other disorders are more serious and debilitating, and they tend to worsen over time. Generally, the following signs could indicate movement disorder and should be taken seriously: inability to move, tightening or contraction of muscles, stiffness of limbs and trunk, slow movement, difficulty in swallowing and speaking, cognitive and behavioral problems. Some psychiatric symptoms may accompany progression of severe disorders.

Types of Movement Disorders

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive disease that gradually impacts patients’ motor abilities causing a slow and awkward gait, rigid limbs, tremor, shuffling and a lack of balance.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include, slow and small movement, muscle rigidity or stiffness, and/or postural instability and poor balance.

This is a neurological condition that causes the patient’s hands to shake rhythmically and tend to be worse during movement than when at rest. Tremors might also impact the head, trunk and voice, but hand shaking is most prominent. Tremors can be disabling and can slowly worsen over time and may come and go, or it may be constant. Tremors can happen on their own or be caused by another disorder.

Symptoms of tremor include: Rhythmic shaking in the hands, arms, head, legs, or torso, shaky voice, difficulty writing or drawing, and/or problems holding and controlling utensils.

This is a degenerative disorder that affects the brain, brainstem or spinal cord and can result in clumsiness, inaccuracy, instability, imbalance, tremor or a lack of coordination while performing voluntary movements.  Ataxia also can affect speech and movement of the eyes. Movements of patients with Ataxia may appear disjointed or jerky and patients may fall down frequently due to an unsteady gait.

Ataxia can be caused by a number of things including stroke, multiple sclerosis, tumors, alcoholism, nerve damage, metabolic disorders, and/or vitamin deficiencies.

The most common symptoms of ataxia include: difficulty with writing and eating, low eye movements, problems with balance and coordination, poor coordination of hands, arms, and legs, slurring of speech, and/or wide-based gait (manner of walking).

This is a progressive, degenerative, hereditary disease caused by degeneration of nerve cells in the brain and has a broad impact on patient’s movement and cognitive abilities.  Huntington’s Disease most commonly appears in ages between 30s or 50s.

Symptoms include jerking; uncontrollable movements of the limbs, trunk, and face; progressive loss of mental abilities; and the development of psychiatric problems.

Compassionate Care

Here at the Neuro Center, We focus on identifying the symptoms of your movement disorders to determine the cause and recommend the appropriate treatment.