Explore This Treatment Program

Overview

The Movement Disorders Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital has over seventy years of history providing diagnosis, treatment and support to patients with a variety of movement disorders.

Our unit includes several specialized clinics:

  • Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Clinic: has earned the prestigious qualification of Parkinson Disease Center of Excellence from the National Parkinson Foundation. The clinic is also the clinical arm of the Mass General/MIT Udall Center for Excellence in Parkinson's Research
  • Huntington's Disease Clinic: recognized as a Huntington's Disease Society Center of Excellence for our comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to treating patients with Huntington's
  • Dystonia Clinic: a regional referral center for adult and pediatric patients seeking specialized care and treatment for generalized dystonia, writer's cramp and all other types of dystonia
  • Tourette Syndrome Clinic: a specialized multidisciplinary clinic and regional referral center for adult and pediatric patients with Tourette syndrome and other tic disorders
  • Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Clinic: recognized as a CurePSP Center of Care by the CurePSP Foundation, the leading foundation for PSP research and care

In addition to the conditions mentioned above, we see patients with other forms of Parkinsonism, tremor, gait disorders, drug-induced movement disorders, and other rare diseases and conditions.

Deep Brain Stimulation for Movement Disorders

Our neurosurgeons use deep brain stimulation (DBS) to treat patients with a wide variety of movement disorders. DBS involves implanting an electrode in the brain to interrupt and stimulate nerve activity. Our center uses the most advanced stereotactic technology, microelectrode recordings, for optimal lead positioning and the best patient outcome. The most common movement disorder we treat is Parkinson's disease. Other disorders that can be treated using deep brain stimulation include:

  • Essential tremor
  • Genetic dystonia
  • Generalized dystonia
  • Hemidystonia
  • Segmental dystonia
  • Focal dystonia, such as Spasmodic torticollis

Rich Research Opportunities

Our clinician-scientists in Movement Disorders work closely with the researchers at the MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease (MIND), who aim to translate laboratory discoveries into prevention, treatment and cures for Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases. We have also launched a partnership with electrical engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and elsewhere to develop less-invasive, more effective neuromodulation tools. While we model cell systems and generate images at the cellular level, MIT engineers are designing and testing nano-electronic devices. Together we will introduce a new generation of human nervous system interfaces – with stimulators so small they can be inserted much like a tattoo and controlled by a remote device.

Our success will allow individuals across the range of movement disorders to regain control over their muscles, not only eliminating the tremors, slowness, stiffness and balance problems that are symptomatic of these disorders, but also repairing damage at the cellular level to stop or reverse disease progression.

We also help patients participate in an array of important research activities that can contribute to greater understanding and better treatments for these disorders.

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