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About This Program

A Parkinson's Foundation Center of Excellence

Our physicians are highly trained in the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s disease and related movement disorders. We believe in personalized, focused care centered on the relationship between you and your neurologist. We are recognized by the  Parkinson's Foundation as a Center of Excellence for our dedication to Parkinson’s research, clinical care, and outreach.

  • New patients should expect a comprehensive evaluation and thorough assessment aimed toward making a quick and accurate diagnoses. If indicated, laboratory testing or brain imaging can be arranged.
  • Once a diagnosis is established, we are happy to provide ongoing care to design and optimize medication treatments, or to work in collaboration with your neurologist or other physicians.
  • Advanced treatment options, including deep brain stimulation surgery, are available if appropriate.
Download Action Plan     Download DBS Fact Sheet (PDF)

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Care

Parkinson’s disease is a condition that can affect different aspects of your life, including your mobility, mood, and sleep. We work with a highly trained and dedicated team of specialists that are all focused on helping you live better with Parkinson’s.

  • A Nurse Practitioner can help your physician provide you the best care and address issues about medications and other Parkinson’s-related issues.
  • A Physical Therapist can evaluate and treat you to optimize your mobility, physical activity and exercise, and safety.
  • An Occupational Therapist can help you stay active and independent in your daily activities.
  • A Speech Therapist can evaluate you and provide recommendations and treatment if the Parkinson’s is affecting your speech or swallowing.
  • A Social Worker can answer your questions and provide counseling about lifestyle transitions, options if you need help with your care, and financial and work-related issues.

You have changed my life. I started using the MGH PD Exercise videos on New Year's Day and have exercised every day since then – even when I got my first COVID vaccine jab and had a very sore arm. Now, I actually look forward to my exercise sessions with you... I am stronger, more flexible, have better stamina and am healthier both physically and emotionally because of your work.

Maria, a patient with Parkinson's Disease

Diseases We Treat

Though 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

Research & Clinical Trials

Our team of physicians is actively involved in research to better understand the causes of Parkinson’s disease and to identify new treatments. As a patient, you may have the opportunity to volunteer for:

  • Clinical trials for new investigational drugs
  • Research studies to find new and better ways to diagnose and monitor Parkinson’s disease
  • Studies that improve delivery and quality of care for Parkinson’s patients

If you are interested in volunteering for research, please ask to speak with a research coordinator. Some currently open trials include:

Find more trials

Building on a Rich History

The Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center is one of four entities comprising the Mass General Movement Disorders Division. 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 quality of Center of Excellence from the Parkinson’s Foundation. In addition, our clinic’s physicians serve of advisory committees for the Parkinson Study Group (PSG) and Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Deep Brain Stimulation

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 and Dystonia.

  • Mass General was one of the first hospitals to perform DBS and today we also use it to treat many different types of Dystonia which include:
  • Genetic dystonia
  • Generalized dystonia
  • Hemidystonia
  • Segmental dystonia
  • Focal dystonia, such as Spasmodic torticollis