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Movement Disorders


Movement disorders are a group of neurological conditions that cause abnormal voluntary or involuntary movements, or slow, reduced movements.

Movement Disorders We Treat

Here a Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California, we see and treat a wide variety of movement disorders. Some of the more common ones are:

  • Ataxia: Lack of coordination, often producing jerky movements
  • Hemifacial spasm: Blood vessels constrict the seventh cranial nerve, causing varying degrees of facial spasm, typically originating around the eye of the afflicted side of the face
  • Blepharospasm: Abnormal contraction or twitch of the eyelid
  • Sialorrhea: Excessive production or decreased clearance of saliva
  • Spasticity: Muscle stiffness that worsens with rapid movement and may be associated with increased reflexes and weakness, often due to cerebral palsy
  • Cervical/focal dystonia: Abnormal movements or postures of the neck and head
  • Oromandibular dystonia: Forceful contractions of the face, jaw and/or tongue causing difficulty in opening and closing the mouth and often affecting chewing and speech
  • Essential tremor: Involuntary, rhythmic oscillatory movements resulting from alternating or irregularly synchronous contractions of antagonist muscles
  • Huntington's disease: A hereditary progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by motor disturbances as well as the development of emotional/behavioral/psychiatric abnormalities and loss of previously acquired intellectual/cognitive functioning
  • Multiple system atrophy: A combination of symptoms affecting movement, blood pressure and other body functions
  • Myoclonus: Sudden, abrupt, brief, involuntary, jerk-like contractions of a muscle or muscle group
  • Parkinson's disease: Associated with bradykinesia, tremor, rigidity and postural instability
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy: A rapidly progressing degeneration of cells in several brain areas causing a variety of motor symptoms, including postural instability and frequent falls, difficulty swallowing and speaking, and slowed movements.
  • Restless legs syndrome: Frequently misdiagnosed, characterized by distinctive sensory and motor abnormalities, including unpleasant sensations relieved by movement
  • Tardive dyskinesia: Repetitive, involuntary, purposeless movements such as grimacing, lip smacking, eye blinking or rapid leg and arm movement resulting from prolonged exposure to some types of antipsychotic and neuroleptic medications
  • Tourette syndrome: A hereditary disorder characterized by repeated involuntary movements (most commonly of the face, followed by the arms, legs or trunk) and uncontrollable vocal tics such as grunting, throat clearing, barking and shouting (sometimes expressed as obscene or socially unacceptable language)
  • Wilson's disease: A genetic disorder that causes excessive copper accumulation in the liver or brain; physical signs include jaundice, abdominal swelling, vomiting of blood, abdominal pain, tremor and difficulty in walking, talking or swallowing; psychiatric signs include homicidal or suicidal behavior, depression, and aggression
For assistance with a physician referral, call 1-888-800-7688. To request additional information from someone at the Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California, email us today.