Parkinsons Disease and Other Movement Disorders
The Alan and Barbara Mirken Department of Neurology’s movement disorder specialists passionately believe in providing comprehensive, compassionate care that addresses all aspects of their patients’ neurological conditions. Due to their embodiment of this whole-patient philosophy and fervent pursuit of groundbreaking developments, the National Parkinson Foundation has designated the department an NPF Center of Excellence since 1996.
The department’s adult and pediatric neurology teams diagnose, treat, and research a wide range of disorders that affect movement including:
- Parkinson’s Disease and atypical forms of parkinsonism
- Essential tremor
- Tics and Tourette syndrome
- Drug-induced or tardive dyskinesia and involuntary, repetitive body movements
- Huntington’s disease
Movement disorders may occur sporadically (as in Parkinson’s disease), within families (essential tremor, spinocerebellar ataxias, Huntington disease), or as a result of systemic illnesses or trauma. Due to the complexity of these neurological conditions, our movement disorder specialists work closely with other departments and medical professionals at Beth Israel Medical Center and throughout the Continuum Health Partner’s system. Physicians, physical therapists, genetic counselors, psychiatrists, and neuropsychologists formulate and implement treatment plans customized to meet each patient’s individual needs. All movement disorder physicians within the department have completed subspecialty fellowships that emphasize coordinated, collaborative care.
Diagnosing Movement Disorders
Adult and pediatric movement disorders are diagnosed through a clinical evaluation, which includes the discussion of symptoms, a physical exam, and a review of the patient’s medical history. Imaging studies, bloodworm, and genetic testing can further pinpoint a diagnosis. CT and MRI facilities are available as needed, and our genetic counselor can discuss family histories, testing, and their possible implications.
Treating Movement Disorders
Treatment of movement disorders usually concentrates on improving symptoms, because many diseases still await a cure. Treatment plans developed in collaboration with our patients may include:
- Medication to improve symptoms
- When appropriate, the opportunity for patients to participate in clinical trials for new medications and protocols
- Physical therapy to improve and retain function
- Occupational therapy to give patients adaptive living skills
- Coordination with the Continuum Center for Health and Healing for teaching relaxation and therapeutic alternatives such as meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, Feldenkrais Method for movement, dance, and exercise
- Practical and emotional support for the patient, caregivers and family, including various support groups and input from the department’s social workers
- Collaborative psychological and psychiatric counseling and evaluation when necessary to help patients with co-existing mood or memory problems that can accompany their illnesses. Depression and anxiety may be symptoms of Parkinson’s disease or other neurological diseases, and the department has a psychiatrist who specializes in treating patients with movement disorders.
- Referrals for deep brain stimulation surgery when appropriate. We work very closely with the neurosurgery team at Roosevelt Hospital, led by Dr. Robert R. Goodman, to determine the appropriate treatment and match each patient with the surgeon that specializes in treating the condition.
- Ongoing care and follow-up. In fact, because of the chronic condition of some movement disorders, the department attentively follows some patients for decades.
Members of the department engage in clinical and basic science research, and participate in many multi-center, national trials, often coordinating with other institutions both in New York City, throughout the country and abroad. Special interests include imaging research, the discovery and expansion of medical and surgical therapies, and deepening the understanding of the genetics of movement disorders, including factors for inheritance.
The division’s movement disorders specialists also maintain close ties with organizations such as the National Parkinson Foundation, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation, The Bachmann-Strauss Dystonia and Parkinson Foundation, and others. Physicians here are also actively involved in international professional organizations, such as the Movement Disorder Society. Most importantly, however, The Alan and Barbara Mirken Department of Neurology’s relationships with these foundations, other hospitals, and medical professionals throughout the globe are investments in providing the best possible care to every patient while also providing critical support to caregivers, family members, and friends.
View Parkinson’s Disease and Other Movement Disorders Physicians
View Support Groups and Movement Classes
The Alan and Barbara Mirken Department of Neurology in the News:
“A Tremor in the Research Force” by Karen Iris Tucker, The Jewish Daily Forward
An article about Dr. Susan Bressman’s genetic research of Parkinson’s disease patients in the Ashkenazi Jewish population and how it has ignited a global quest for new treatments for the disease.
Learn More! Contact Joan Miravite, NP at (212) 844-6700 or JMiravite@chpnet.org.