What are movement disorders?
A variety of conditions may cause problems with excessive, abnormal or slow movement of the body, including Parkinson's disease and related conditions, dystonia, Huntington's disease, and chorea, ataxia, tremor disorders, myoclonus and startle syndromes, tics and Tourette syndrome, restless legs syndrome, stiff person syndrome and gait disorders.
The diagnosis of movement disorders can usually be made following a clinic based assessment in which the patient first describes the history and then is examined by a neurologist. However, in some patients it will be necessary to perform further investigations to reach the diagnosis and these may include:
Dopamine transporter scans (DAT scan)
Occasionally, patients with complex movement disorders may require admission for investigation.
Some movement disorders may resolve without treatment. Others respond to medicines. Many movement disorders affect walking and the ability to perform the activities of daily living, and patients may benefit from assessment by physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapies, and other allied health professionals. More rarely patients with severe movement disorders may respond to neurosurgical procedures, including deep brain stimulation.
Acute management of Parkinson's Disease
Guidelines for the acute management of Parkinson's Disease have been prepared in NHS Tayside, and are found here.
Following diagnosis, you may require review in the clinic to monitor response to treatment.
You may be seen by your consultant, registrar or nurse specialist. Many people with movement disorders are referred back to the care of their general practitioners, others may be referred other services.
Who are the team?
All members of the consultant staff are able to diagnose and manage movement disorders, and many patients will also be managed by colleagues in the medicine for the elderly service. Some patients with particular problems may be referred to consultant neurologists with a special interest in movement disorders:
Movement disorders Specialist Nurse:
We have a number of leaflets available explaining the diagnosis and its implications, which can be found here