Parkinson's Disease & Movement Disorders

Nerve diseases cause many movement disorders, such as Parkinson's Disease. Other causes include injuries, autoimmune diseases, infections and certain medicines. Many movement disorders are inherited, which means they run in families.

Treatment varies by disorder. Medicine can cure some disorders. Others get better when an underlying disease is treated. Often, however, there is no cure. In that case, the goal of treatment is to improve symptoms and relieve pain.

At UTMB, we treat a range of movement conditions, which are characterized by abnormal motions that can be too slow (hypokinetic) or excessive (hyperkinetic). Common movement disorders include the following:


  • Parkinson’s disease

    Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by symptoms such as tremors, slowed movements, and rigidity in the arms and legs. It is generally a slowly progressing disorder that can lead to slurred speech and difficulty swallowing.

  • Dystonia

    Dystonia is a painful condition causing muscles to twist, shake, or contract into abnormal postures.

  • Huntington’s disease
    Huntington’s disease is an inherited condition causing the progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the brain, resulting in abnormal body movements and mental impairment.
  • Benign essential tremor (ET)
    Benign essential tremor (ET) is a disorder usually characterized by shaking in the hands, and in some cases the head and arms.
  • Tourette syndrome
    Tourette syndrome is a tic disorder characterized by rapid, involuntary movements and sounds that occur repeatedly. Motor tics can range from eye blinking to jumping, and vocal tics can range from throat clearing to saying socially inappropriate words.
  • Cerebral Palsy
    Cerebral Palsy is a chronic condition that impairs control of movement. Symptoms of this disorder, which is not considered progressive, typically appear when a child is aged three or less, and include lateness walking, trouble with fine motor activities, weak or tight muscles, and speech problems.
  • Spasticity
    Spasticity is the involuntary, continuous contraction of muscles following damage to the spinal cord or brain. The muscle contractions of the condition interfere with functions such as walking and speech.

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