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Movement Disorders

father with movement disorder walking outside with his son
father with movement disorder walking outside with his son

Why choose Ochsner Health for movement disorder care?

Movement disorders cause abnormal movements that can affect nearly every aspect of life. These neurological conditions can disrupt your ability to perform everyday tasks, such as eating and dressing, and interfere with the activities you love. At the Ochsner Neuroscience Institute, we know that hope comes from having a plan. That’s why the neurology and neurosurgery experts in our Movement Disorders Program provide advanced, customized treatment to patients in Louisiana, Mississippi and beyond. This isn’t one-size-fits-all care — it’s designed just for you.

Comprehensive, patient-centered care is only possible with an outstanding team, and that’s what you’ll find at Ochsner Neuroscience Institute. Our multidisciplinary team includes fellowship-trained, board-certified movement disorders neurologists and a fellowship-trained, board-certified functional neurosurgeon. These experts collaborate to deliver treatments to help you meet your goals and enjoy the best quality of life possible.

The Ochsner Neuroscience Institute is the Gulf South’s premier provider of movement disorders care. What sets us apart? In our program, you’ll find:

  • Commitment to convenience. We want to make it as easy and seamless as possible to find the diagnosis and treatment you need. That’s why we offer virtual appointments through the MyOchsner app that allow you to consult our experts from the comfort of home.

  • Multidisciplinary team. In addition to movement disorders neurologists and a functional neurosurgeon (a specialized neurosurgeon who concentrates on treating patients whose quality of life has been impacted by their neurological disorders), your care team may include a movement disorders nurse practitioner, physician assistants, a neuropsychologist, a music therapist and neurological rehab providers, such as physical therapists and occupational therapists. In addition, our team features dedicated movement disorders nurse navigators and a social worker. These professionals provide education and support, and can help you find helpful resources.

  • Nationally recognized excellence. We have been nationally rated by U.S. News & World Report for neurology and neurosurgery for more than a decade. In addition, the Parkinson’s Foundation designated the Ochsner Neuroscience Institute a Comprehensive Care Center for Parkinson’s disease. Finally, Ochsner is a Huntington’s Disease Society of America Center of Excellence.

Research to shape the future of care. We offer clinical trials investigating leading-edge treatments and approaches to care for movement disorders.

Movement disorders include a variety of conditions that can cause abnormal voluntary or involuntary movements. We treat a wide range of these neurological disorders, including:

  • Ataxia — nervous system damage leading to loss of muscle control

  • Dystonia — abnormal muscle contractions that cause parts of the body to twist

  • Essential tremor — involuntary movement of part of the body, commonly the hands

  • Gait disturbances or balance problems — abnormal walking patterns or difficulty maintaining balance

  • Huntington’s disease — loss of nerve cells in the brain responsible for voluntary movements and other functions

  • Parkinson’s disease — loss or damage to nerve cells in the brain that help control movement

  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus — a buildup of excess cerebrospinal fluid in the brain

  • Spasticity — abnormally tight or stiff muscles due to nerve damage in the brain or spinal cord

  • Torticollis — abnormal twisting of the neck that typically affects babies and young children

  • Tourette syndrome — uncontrollable movements and sounds known as tics

No matter how a movement disorder affects you, our goal is to manage the symptoms to help you adapt and thrive. Your treatment plan will depend on the type of movement disorder, your overall health and your goals, among other factors. Some movement disorders run in families or are linked to gene changes. As a result, we may use genetic information to inform your care.

We offer a wide range of treatments, including some of the most advanced therapies available anywhere. A key example is deep brain stimulation, or DBS. With this treatment, a neurosurgeon places wires called electrodes in the brain and a neurostimulator in your upper chest. The neurostimulator sends electrical signals to the brain, interfering with signals that cause certain movement disorder symptoms. DBS may be an option for some patients with movement disorders, including Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor.

Ochsner has the longest-running DBS program in our region. We’ve performed more than 500 DBS implantations. We offer multiple DBS systems, targets for stimulation in the brain and neurostimulator implantation sites. In short, we customize this treatment to fit each patient’s needs. In the past, patients were awake for DBS, but we offer an MRI-guided version of the procedure that allows implantation to take place while they’re asleep.

Other treatments available through our program include:

  • Botox therapy — injections of nerve-blocking medication for dystonia and other movement disorders

  • Continuous infusion therapy for Parkinson’s disease, which uses a pump to infuse medication into the body throughout the day

  • Occupational therapy

  • Physical therapy

Report any side effects of treatment to your doctors so they can create a plan to manage them.

FAQs

Common movement disorders include:

  • Ataxia — nervous system damage leading to loss of muscle control

  • Dystonia — abnormal muscle contractions that cause parts of the body to twist

  • Essential tremor — involuntary movement of part of the body, commonly the hands

  • Huntington’s disease — loss of nerve cells in the brain responsible for voluntary movements and other functions

  • Parkinson’s disease — loss or damage to nerve cells in the brain that help control movement

Symptoms vary widely, depending on the type of movement disorder. Some general symptoms include uncontrollable movement, poor coordination or balance, tremor and muscle stiffness.

Some movement disorders, including Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Tourette syndrome, can occur alongside mental health conditions.

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Map of Ochsner-affiliated facilities that provide services related to Movement Disorders

Movement Disorders Locations

Ochsner Lafayette General Orthopedic Hospital
2810 Ambassador Caffery Parkway
Lafayette, LA 70506
  • : 11:17 p.m.-11:17 p.m.
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner LSU Health - St. Mary Medical Center
915 Margaret Place
Shreveport, LA 71101
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner Medical Center – New Orleans
1514 Jefferson Highway
New Orleans, LA 70121
  • Open 24/7