Movement disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, are nervous system conditions that cause slow, reduced movement or abnormal and excess movements. The Movement Disorders Program at Maine Medical Center provides comprehensive care for movement disorders. Our fellowship-trained movement disorder neurologists and functional neurosurgeon offer advanced medical and surgical treatments for movement disorders, including the only deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy in Maine.
Expert evaluation and treatment of movement disorders such as:
- Atypical Parkinsonism
- Essential Tremor
- Gait disorders
- Huntington's disease
- Medication-induced movement disorders
- Parkinson's disease
- Restless legs syndrome
- Tics/Tourette's syndrome
Here to help you achieve the best possible quality of life
We are the only program in the state providing neurologic and surgical evaluations for movement disorder patients. Program highlights include:
- Multidisciplinary team of experts providing collaborative, coordinated care
- Movement disorders specialists
- Functional neurosurgeon
- Nurse practitioners
- Social worker
- Specialty care nurses
- Highly-skilled medical assistants
- Patient/family navigators
- Access to clinical research trials for Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders
- Parkinson's community involvement and support through educational seminars and an annual, patient-centered, educational conference
Expert care for a wide range of movement disorders including:
Parkinson's disease affects the way you move. It happens when there is a problem with certain nerve cells in the brain. Normally, these nerve cells make an important chemical called dopamine. Dopamine sends signals to the part of your brain that controls movement. It lets your muscles move smoothly and do what you want them to do. When you have Parkinson's, these nerve cells break down. A lack of dopamine input to the movement centers of the brain leads to difficulties moving the way you want to, and involuntary movement such as tremors. Parkinson's disease is a progressive condition. Our specialists will work with you to come up with a treatment plan to fit your individual needs. Our goal is to help you live the fullest life possible. Learn more about Parkinson's disease.
Parkinson-Plus Syndromes or Atypical Parkinsonism
Atypical Parkinsonism causes Parkinson’s disease symptoms plus additional symptoms that may progress faster and benefit less from medication. While no current therapy can slow or stop progression, treatment can ease symptoms of Parkinson-Plus syndromes such as:
- Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB)
- Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)
- Cortico-basal Ganglinonic Degeneration (CBGD)
- Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP)
Learn more about Parkinson-Plus Syndromes.
A tremor is an involuntary shaking movement that is repeated over and over. Although it may affect any part of the body, tremor most often affects the hands and head. Your voice may also shake. Sometimes the feet or torso may also shake. Essential tremor, which often runs in families, is the most common condition that causes tremors. It is shaking that is most noticeable when you are doing something like lifting a cup or pointing at an object. Shaking related to essential tremor is usually absent at rest. Medicine can help reduce the shaking. Brain surgery is effective to reduce tremors when medications are not providing enough benefit.
Tremor can also be the result of other conditions affecting the nervous system such as Parkinson's disease, thyroid dysfunction, and as a side effect of a variety of medications, particularly those used to treat psychiatric conditions. If you notice a tremor, observe it carefully and note what seems to make it better or worse before calling your doctor. There are some differences between essential tremor and tremor caused by Parkinson's disease. If a cause is discovered, the disease will be treated rather than the tremor.
It is estimated that over 20,000 people in Maine are affected by essential tremor. Treatment options include medication. A surgical procedure, called deep brain stimulation (DBS), may be an option if medication does not provide adequate relief. Learn more about essential tremors.
Dystonia is a disorder that causes involuntary muscle contractions which result in slow repetitive movements or abnormal postures. The movements may be painful, and some individuals with dystonia may have a tremor or other neurological symptoms. There are several different forms of dystonia that may affect only one muscle, groups of muscles, or muscles throughout the body. Some forms of dystonia are genetic but the cause for most cases is not known. Learn more about dystonia.
Other Movement Disorders
Our specially-trained neurologists and neurosurgeons also offer consultation and treatment for other movement disorders, such as:
- Chorea and Huntington's disease
- Medication induced movement disorders
- Gait disorders
- Restless legs syndrome
- Tics and Tourette's syndrome
Comprehensive movement disorder services
- Movement disorder diagnosis, consultation and treatment planning
- Medication prescription and management
- Botulinum toxin injections for dystonia
- Evaluation for deep brain stimulation (DBS) and management of DBS therapy
- Carbidopa/levodopa intestinal gel infusion - a long-term therapy for management of advanced Parkinson's disease
- Personal counseling on lifestyle and rehabilitative therapies for Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders
- Social work support services to help patients and families navigate the emotional and practical concerns of movement disorders
- Care coordination with local outpatient rehabilitation programs that can help patients maximize their level of functioning
During a deep brain stimulation (DBS) procedure, a surgically-implanted medical device, similar to a cardiac pacemaker, is used to deliver electrical stimulation to precisely targeted areas in the brain. It works by electrically stimulating specific structures to help control unwanted symptoms.
Learn how DBS is being used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.
What are movement disorders?
Movement disorders are a group of conditions that affect your nervous system. They cause parts of your body to move without you having control over it.