Expert care for patients suffering from movement disorders

Movement disorders occur when muscles move uncontrollably or don’t move when you want them to. These disorders can include Parkinson’s disease, tremors and restless legs syndrome.

The Baylor Scott & White Plummer Movement Disorders Center (PMDC) is part of the division of Baylor Scott & White Health's neurology department within the Neuroscience Institute in Temple. The center offers a variety of treatments for patients suffering from movement disorders.

The full extent of the movement disorder may not be completely understood immediately, but it may be revealed with a comprehensive medical evaluation and diagnostic testing at the Baylor Scott & White Plummer Movement Disorders Center.

Movement disorder diagnosis depends on a number of tools, including:

  • Patient's complete health history
  • Thorough neurological exam by a specialist
  • Complete family history
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • DAT scans (measure dopamine uptake in the brain)

What is a movement disorder?

A movement disorder occurs when neurological conditions affect speed, fluency, quality and ease of movement.

If you have abnormal fluency or speed of movement, it may also involve other conditions. Movement disorders include excessive or involuntary movement (hyperkinesia) or slow or absent voluntary movement (hypokinesia).

The symptoms of a movement disorder largely depend on the type of condition you may have. People may have varying degrees of symptoms associated with the severity of the movement disorder and depending on the type of neurological issue.

The symptoms of a movement disorder may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult a physician for a diagnosis.

Symptoms that may suggest a movement disorder

  • Uncontrollable movements
  • Inability to move or moving too slowly
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Jerks or twitches
  • Spasms or contractures
  • Gait problems or trouble walking
Movement disorders treated
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Ataxia

An impaired ability to coordinate movement often characterized by a staggering gait and postural imbalance is known as ataxia. These can be acquired or inherited.

Blepharospasm

An uncontrolled contraction of the eyelids that may be temporary twitching or closing of the eyelid.

Dystonia

Dystonia symptoms include strong, involuntary muscle contractions causing co-contraction of muscles that cause turning, twisting or curling. Examples include cervical dystonia (torticollis) or writer’s cramp.

Essential tremor

Essential tremor causes rhythmic shaking, most often in hands, voice and/or head.

Hemifacial spasm

Irregular, involuntary muscle spasms on one side of the face.

Huntington’s disease and other chorea

Hereditary disorder that affects muscle coordination and leads to mental decline and behavioral symptoms. This is usually associated with chorea, which includes brief, unpredictable movements that interfere with speech, swallowing, posture and gait.

Multiple system atrophy

Occurs from degeneration of nerve cells in the brain causing problems with movement, balance and other autonomic functions of the body such as bladder control or blood-pressure regulation. This usually is confused with Parkinson’s disease or cerebellar ataxia.

Parkinson’s disease and related conditions

A slow but progressive degenerative disease with the loss of coordinated muscle movement leaving patients with stiffness, slowness and possibly tremor—all from a decrease in dopamine (chemical in the brain for moving).

Restless leg syndrome

Painful or uncomfortable sensation, jerking or movement preceded by the urge to move the legs and relieved by movement. This typically, but not always, occurs at night or on long car rides.

Sialorrhea

This is an excessive flow of saliva that may be associated with various conditions.

Spasticity

Tightness, stiffness or spasms of muscles usually from strokes or spinal cord injuries.

Tic disorders

Tic disorders include abrupt, repetitive involuntary movements and sounds that can be influenced by emotions, such as Tourette syndrome.

Treatment options for movement disorders

Baylor Scott & White Health offers a number of treatment options to provide relief from movement disorders.

  • Medication

    Medication can help control symptoms and manage depression or anxiety that may accompany your disorder.

  • Botox injections

    Botox injections can help relieve muscle contractions and spasms.

  • Supportive therapies

    Physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy may also aid in your treatment.

  • Surgery

    Depending on the extent of your symptoms, your doctor may suggest surgery.

  • Lifestyle changes

    Studies have shown that lifestyle changes—including exercise, diet or stress management—can improve movement disorder symptoms.

  • Deep brain stimulation (DBS)

    Deep brain stimulation is a surgical procedure used to treat certain neurologic conditions. In this type of treatment, an electrode is implanted surgically into the deep brain structures that influence movement. The conditions most commonly treated with DBS are Parkinson’s disease, dystonia and tremor.

Appointments and referrals

New patients

To schedule a consultation with our movement disorders specialist in the Baylor Scott & White Plummer Movement Disorders Center, see your primary care physician or neurologist for a referral. The physician referral number is 800.792.3368 or 254.724.2218.

Current patients

If you have previously been seen in our Baylor Scott & White Plummer Movement Disorders Center, call 254.724.4179 (Temple) or 512.509.0200 (Round Rock) to schedule a movement disorders appointment.