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Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Clinic

The Massachusetts General Hospital Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center provides comprehensive care for patients with Parkinson's disease and related conditions.

Parkinson's Doctors

Please note that Dr. Anne B. Young retired effective April 30, 2012, in order to focus on research.

Our Approach

Parkinsonism and other movement disorders can be very difficult to diagnose. Many patients come to our clinic for additional diagnostic evaluations after seeing neurologists outside of Mass General.

We strongly recommend that new patients submit a physician referral letter before their initial consultation. At the visit, the patient undergoes a comprehensive evaluation that often allows our experienced on-staff neurologists to make a quick and accurate diagnosis.

If appropriate, we may make referrals to other Mass General specialists for further testing, such as:

  • Psychiatric and cognitive evaluation
  • Neuropsychological testing and assessment
  • Surgical evaluation

An Emphasis on Quality of Life

Parkinson's disease and related disorders are progressive in nature, so we focus on optimizing the patient's quality of life through effective symptom management. As the patient encounters new limitations, we can incorporate a variety of multidisciplinary clinical services available at Mass General, including:

  • Psychiatric and cognitive treatment
  • Neurosurgery
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech-language therapy
  • Nutrition-related assistance
  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation
  • Physical therapy
  • Continuing neurologic care (our neurologists work closely with the patient's primary care physician to maximize the treatment benefits)

Family-centered care is another crucial element in preserving quality of life. In the early stages of Parkinson's disease, we encourage family members to become educated on the condition and to help make sure the patient exercises regularly. By the time the disease has reached more advanced stages, we want family members to feel prepared to take on caregiver roles.

Our clinic also can make introductions to home care agencies and assisted-living facilities for patients with advanced Parkinson's disease.

Access to Cutting-Edge Therapies

Mass General is performing research into Parkinson's disease that may lead to exciting breakthroughs. Our clinic's patients may enjoy access to clinical trials exploring cutting-edge therapies, such as:

  • New medications that may slow the progression of Parkinson's disease
  • Gene therapy that may help in treating advanced Parkinson's disease

Browse online for open trials.

Also at our institution, the MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease (MIND) aims to conduct research and translate laboratory discoveries into prevention, treatment and cures for Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Parkinson's Doctors

Please note that Dr. Anne B. Young retired effective April 30, 2012, in order to focus on research.

 

About this Program

Parkinson's disease is the most common form of a group of motor system disorders known as parkinsonism. Our other areas of clinical expertise also include:

  • Different forms of tremor
  • Myoclonus (sudden, involuntary muscle jerks)
  • Chorea (a hyperkinetic movement disorder that may result from a number of neurologic diseases)
  • Gait disorders such as ataxia (an inability to coordinate muscle movements)
  • Dementia with Lewy body disease
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Medication-induced movement disorders

Evaluation, Diagnosis, Treatment & SupportOur patients have access to a robust range of evaluation and diagnostic services, such as lab tests, cognitive evaluation, brain imaging and surgical evaluation. Treatment and support services span the following:

Medication: Many different medications are available for Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders. No two patients react the same way to a medication. We have extensive experience in adjusting medication regimens to alleviate symptoms while minimizing side effects.

Surgery: Based on the patient's medical profile and severity of condition, surgery may help with symptoms of Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders (particularly tremor and rigidity). We perform two types of surgeries:

  • Deep brain stimulation (DBS): Now the standard of surgical care for Parkinson's disease, DBS involves implanting an electrode (i.e. stimulator) in the brain to interrupt neural activity. This procedure can decrease symptoms in certain carefully selected patients
  • Pallidotomy: This procedure, a less common alternative to DBS, involves destroying a small amount of targeted brain tissue to help relieve certain movement symptoms

Complementary and supportive therapies: We offer a number of other therapies, including nutrition, exercise, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

Building on a Rich HistoryThe Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center is one of four entities comprising the Mass General Movement Disorders Unit.  Our hospital has a long history of conducting research into Parkinson's disease and caring for patients with this and other movement disorders. Robert Schwab, MD, laid the groundwork for the Movement Disorders Unit in the 1940s when he published his first research paper on Parkinson's disease.

John Growdon, MD, serves as director of both the Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center and the Movement Disorders Unit. His clinical interests include the cognitive and behavioral aspects of Parkinson's disease and related disorders. Our staff includes over a dozen neurologists who specialize in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders.

Mass General has earned the prestigious qualification of Center of Excellence from the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF). In addition, our clinic's physicians serve on advisory committees for national private organizations such as the NPF, Michael J. Fox Foundation and Parkinson's Disease Foundation.

Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease (PD or, simply, Parkinson's) is a slowly progressing, degenerative disease that is associated with symptoms such as tremor or trembling of the arms, jaw, legs and face, stiffness or rigidity of the limbs and trunk, bradykinesia (slowness of movement), postural instability or impaired balance and coordination.

Take Charge (Parkinson's)

An action plan for managing your Parkinson's (PDF)

Yoga & Lecture Series for Parkinson's

Join us for a monthly one hour, instructor-led yoga class specifically designed for persons with Parkinson’s disease. Yoga class is followed by a lecture by a Parkinson’s specialist.

Parkinson's Disease and the Family

The "Parkinson's Disease and the Family" book is a guide for people with Parkinson's disease, and their friends and family. It provides medical and practical information in an approachable, easy-to-read manner.

Lighting up Parkinson’s disease research

How jellyfish could potentially play a role in treatment

Choral group offers upbeat therapy for Parkinson's patients

MGH Hotline 12.11.09 Walter Stern, a 79-year-old resident of Chestnut Hill, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease nearly a decade ago.

Moving beyond Mobility: Non-Motor Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease Patient and Caregiver Symposium

Parkinson's Symposium at MIND- 2008

Momentum in our Pursuit of Cures - Research advances in Parkinson's, Lewy Body dementia, and Parkinson's-Plus disorders. Anne B. Young, MD, PhD, Director, MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease (MIND), formerly Chief of Neurology Service.

Neurology Bicentennial Celebration, 2011 Part I

Neurology Bicentennial Celebration, October 13, 2011. Past History of MGH Neurology; Overview of MGH Neurology; Telestroke and Acute Stroke Service; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Pediatric Neurology.

Neurology Bicentennial Celebration, 2011 Part II

Neurology Bicentennial Celebration, October 13, 2011. Clinical and research presentations on ALS, Stroke, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Parkinson’s Disease

Neurology Bicentennial Celebration 2011 II HD

Neurology Bicentennial Celebration, October 13, 2011. Clinical and research presentations on Huntington’s Disease, Epilepsy, and Neuro-Oncology.

Partners Neurology Residency

Neurology residents, program graduates, faculty members, and the education director talk about training at Mass General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Take Charge (Parkinson's)

An action plan for managing your Parkinson's (PDF)

Yoga & Lecture Series for Parkinson's

Join us for a monthly one hour, instructor-led yoga class specifically designed for persons with Parkinson’s disease. Yoga class is followed by a lecture by a Parkinson’s specialist.

Parkinson's Disease and the Family

The "Parkinson's Disease and the Family" book is a guide for people with Parkinson's disease, and their friends and family. It provides medical and practical information in an approachable, easy-to-read manner.

Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center

Wang Ambulatory Care Center
8th Floor, Suite 835
15 Parkman Street
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-726-5532

Public Transportation Access: yes
Disabled Access: yes

Mailing AddressParkinson's Disease and
Movement Disorders Center
8th Floor, Suite 835
15 Parkman Street
Boston, MA 02114Clinical Coordinator

Phone: 617-726-5532