Movement Disorder Treatment in Tacoma, WA
What are movement disorders?
Movement disorders are diseases that affect a person’s natural movements. They may include slowed/not enough movement (hypokinetic) or increased /too much movement (hyperkinetic).
There are many types of movement disorders. Examples of hyperkinetic movement disorders include Dystonia, Chorea and Huntington’s Disease, Ataxia, Essential Tremor, and Restless Legs Syndrome. Parkinson’s Disease includes aspects of both too much and too little movement.
Spasticity is a special type of movement disorder called a motility disorder in that there may not be enough movement (such as after a stroke), but at the same time, muscle tone is increased causing further restriction of normal movement.
What causes movement disorders?
Some movement disorders are hereditary while others do not have a concrete genetic link. In reality, there may be a combination of genetic and environmental factors that bring movement disorders to the surface. We say that genetics loads the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger.
How are movement disorders diagnosed and treated?
Most movement disorders are based on symptoms and findings from a physical exam. As these Most movement disorders are based on symptoms and findings from a physical exam. As these conditions are ultimately electrical/chemical disturbances in the brain, they may not show up on imaging studies or blood work. Therefore, seeing a movement disorder specialist is an important step toward the right diagnosis. Treatment of movement disorders will depend on the diagnosis (see below).
Common diagnoses treated in our clinic:
Patients with Parkinson’s Disease have characteristic symptoms of slowed movements, rigidity and a resting tremor. A reduction in dopamine is the prime culprit of these symptoms. Medication treatment for PD includes strategies to increase the availability of dopamine in the brain or to stimulate the brain dopamine receptors. In some cases, surgical therapy such as Deep Brain Stimulation, may be helpful. At Puget Sound Neurology, we will work to find the right treatment combination for you to help you live well.
A comprehensive approach is important to success with Parkinson’s Disease. Exercise is essential to reducing disability. Further supportive therapy with physical therapy, speech therapists and support groups are also very helpful.
Dystonia is a type of movement disorder defined by muscle contractions of certain muscles. Dystonia is often genetic and mis-diagnosed. Many patients, after years of searching, have found relief under the expert guidance of Dr. Hogan.
There are many kinds of dystonia. The most common are called focal dystonia, involving only a few muscles in one part of the body. Examples include:
- Cervical dystonia: Muscles of the neck
- Belpharospasm: Muscles of the eyelid
- Oral-mandibular Dystonia: muscles of the jaw
- Laryngeal Dystonia: muscles involved in speech
- Writer’s cramp: Muscles of the hand
The best therapy for dystonia involves injections with one of the botulinum toxins (Botox, Myobloc, Dysport or Xeomin). Dr. Hogan was the first neurologist in the state of Washington trained to utilize Botox over 30 years ago. He has had extensive experience using all four of these botulinum toxin therapies.
As with all conditions that we treat, the optimal response to treatment requires initiation of a comprehensive holistic approach that includes exercise, support, diet and others. (see link to 10 secrets to treatment of dystonia). Before any treatment, however, a complete neurological history and exam to evaluate for drug-induced dystonia or metabolic causes is first conducted.
The most common type of tremor is Essential Tremor. It is a progressive tremor that often involves the upper extremities, but can also involve the head, voice, tongue and legs. Essential tremor is often present with activity (action, like drinking a cup of coffee or writing) or while extending the arms (postural). Some patients choose not to treat their tremors with medicines, and prefer using hand weights, stress/relaxation techniques or biofeedback as therapy. For others, treatment for Essential Tremor can involve medical management, surgical therapy and sometimes Botulinum toxin administration.
Additional Treatment of Movement Disorders
The rhythm, music and social aspect of dance has been shown to remarkably improve movement control for both Parkinson’s disease and Dystonia.
Food4Life is committed to accurate, honest nutrition counseling based on the most current research.
Nutrition is a key lifestyle component to brain health. Nutrition counseling can help delay the progression of your disease and help you manage any symptoms you may be experiencing.
Cycling and Other Exercise
Research has shown cycling to be a powerful adjunct therapy for Parkinson’s disease. Find a Pedaling for Parkinson’s Location at https://www.pedalingforparkinsons.org. Puget Sound Neurology also offers individualized exercise programming for movement disorder patients.
Movement Disorders Support Groups
Join us for information seeking, singing, encouragement, sharing, exercise, and fun!
All activities listed are free of charge.
Our Mighty Voices
oin us as we warm up with voice exercises, then sing our old favorites, new favorites, and read familiar and famous speeches.
1st and 2nd Monday of each month, 11:30 a.m.
Harbor Place at Cottesmore
1016 29th St. NW
Gig Harbor, Washington 98335
3rd and 4th Fridays of each month, 11:30 a.m. Tacoma Lutheran Home Chapel 1301 North Highlands Parkway Tacoma, Washington 98406
Spouses and family members are welcome. Practicing voice exercises outside of meetings is STRONGLY encouraged. You are invited to either or both locations. We created 2 locations and 2 different week days to make it more accessible to more people. Monthly notification cards are sent. Contact Tacoma Lutheran Home to get on the mailing list.
Gig Harbor Support Group
2nd Wednesday of each month at 4:00 p.m.
St. Anthony Hospital Green Point Room
Gig Harbor Exercise Group
4th Thursday of each month
Harbor Place at Cottesmore Dining Room
1016 29th Street NW
Gig Harbor, WA 98335
Puyallup Life Care Center Support Groups and Opportunities
Parkinson’s support group – every 3rd Thursday at 11:45
Parkinson’s exercise classes – every Thurday at 11:30
Yoga Classes every Monday at 11:30
Caregiver support groups every 1st Tuesday at 1:30
Life Care Center
511 10th Avenue SE
Puyallup, WA 98372
Newly Diagnosed informational Forum
No one wants to hear that they have a progressive disease for which there is no cure, and that news is unsettling for nearly everyone who receives it. You are not alone. With diligent work, you CAN manage this disease, instead of it managing you. Newly diagnosed patients and family members are invited to learn from other newly diagnosed patients how to cope with living with Parkinson’s.
Please contact Sharon Jung for details of times and locations.
Movement Disorders Resources
- Benign Essential Blepharospasm Research Foundation, Inc.
- Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (For all forms of Dystonia; Blepharospasm, oral-mandibular, laryngeal, cervical, and limb)
- National Spasmodic Torticollis Association
- Spasmodic Torticollis/Dystonia, Inc
Website link content is provided by respective organizations, and are the intellectual property of the respective owners. All information is provided for general knowledge only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice and care of medical professionals. Please consult your physician for personal health problems, new treatment programs, or before starting physical fitness training.