Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders
Our team includes neurologists, pediatric neurologists, neurosurgeons, nurses, nurse practitioners, counseling psychologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech and swallowing therapists, registered dieticians, urologists, sleep specialists, neuropsychologists, cognitive remediation specialists, rehabilitation specialists and more, in convenient locations across New Jersey.
Conditions We Treat
- Parkinson’s disease
- Cervical dystonia
- Huntington’s disease
- Progressive supranuclear palsy
- Restless legs syndrome
- Tardive dyskinesia
- Tic disorders
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Wilson’s disease
Specialized Pediatric Movement Disorders Care and TreatmentJoseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital, JFK University Medical Center, and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center treat the full spectrum of neurological conditions in children, including movement disorders such as Chorea, Dystonia, Parkinson’s, Tourette syndrome, and Tics.
Our pediatric neurology specialists work closely with families to manage their child’s neurological condition and improve their quality of life. Our board-certified neurologists have advanced, specialized training and years of experience in testing, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care.
How We Diagnose Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders
To diagnose your condition, we will review your symptoms and health history, conduct a physical exam and may perform additional tests, including:
- Imaging tests. Your health care provider may order imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT), to help uncover neurological abnormalities and diagnose your movement disorder.
- Movement neurophysiological exam. We use a series of tests involving different types of stimulation — including visual, audible and electrical stimulation — to detect neurological abnormalities.
- Neuropsychological exam. This exam assesses cognitive skills, such as attention, executive functioning, memory, language and visuospatial processing.
- Electromyography (EMG). EMG measures the electrical impulses along your nerves and muscles to test how well your nerves and muscles work together.
- Blood or urine samples.Your health care provider may ask you to provide blood or urine samples to check for markers of neurological disorders and rule out other conditions.
Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders
Our multidisciplinary team of experts will consider your diagnosis, evaluation, health history and other factors to construct a personalized treatment plan to meet your unique needs, control your symptoms, maintain your independence and improve your quality of life.
Our neurological specialists and neurosurgeons continue to pioneer new advances for treating Parkinson’s Disease to provide patients with access to the latest nonsurgical therapies for Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.
Jersey Shore University Medical Center provides New Jersey’s most experienced robotic-assisted deep brain stimulation program. This is the only program in New Jersey with a team who has experience with robotic-assisted deep brain stimulation.
Treatment options may include:
Focused ultrasound (FUS). We have the only medical center in New Jersey using this technology, also known as high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), as a minimally invasive alternative to deep brain stimulation for patients with essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease tremor that has not responded to medications.
- Chemodenervation. This treatmentuses Botox injections to block nerve signals to your muscles, reducing the degree of abnormal movement.
- Dietary therapy. Our neurological specialists collaborate with registered dietitians to design a dietary plan to provide optimal nutrition while maximizing the effectiveness of your medications and managing other symptoms, such as difficulty swallowing.
- Other medications. Dopamine substitutes, anti-seizure, and blood pressure medications can also relieve symptoms of movement disorders.
- Deep brain stimulation (DBS): DBS may be recommended for patients with symptoms that are not well controlled by medication. DBS works by implanting a small device in your brain that uses electrical stimulation to prevent nerve signals from causing abnormal movement.
- Stereotactic thalamotomy: Used to treat essential tremor or tremor-dominant Parkinson’s disease, this procedure targets the part of the brain called the thalamus with radiofrequency generator or Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery technology and creates lesions that stop or reduce tremors.
- Stereotactic pallidotomy: This procedure uses stereotactic radiosurgery or radiofrequency ablation to create a small lesion in the part of the brain called the globus pallidus, which is responsible for movement control. Stereotactic pallidotomy may be an option for patients who cannot have DBS.
We offer a full range of supportive services, including:
- Counseling. Our psychologists will provide counseling services to help you and your family cope with the emotional challenges of living with a movement disorder.
- Neuropsychology. Our neuropsychologists will help you understand and cope with problems with memory and other cognitive changes that can occur with movement disorders.
- Cognitive remediation. Cognitive remediation helps people with neurological conditions learn to manage challenges related to memory, reasoning, planning and other cognitive functions.
- Speech therapy. Our speech-language pathologists follow the latest evidence-based treatment protocols to improve and preserve the voices of people with Parkinson’s disease.
- Physical therapy and exercise. Your health care provider may recommend physical therapy or group exercise classes to improve flexibility, balance and strength.
- Parkinson’s group exercise classes. A post-rehab group exercise class designed and administered by physical therapists and exercise specialists helps those with Parkinson’s improve their flexibility, balance and strength, enabling them to perform everyday activities with greater ease.
Clinical Trials and Research for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders
Our neuroscience experts provide patients with access to the latest clinical trials for Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders before they become widely available.
Hackensack University Medical Center is one of only a few U.S. medical centers participating in the RESTORE-1 Phase 2 clinical study, an investigational gene therapy trial for patients with Parkinson’s disease. Hooman Azmi, M.D., director of the Division of Movement Disorders at Hackensack University Medical Center’s Neuroscience Institute, performed the first surgery to place a one-time AADC gene into a specific part of the brain to stimulate dopamine production in October 2019.
Why Choose Hackensack Meridian Health for Your Care
Jersey Shore University Medical Center has earned the Healthgrades Neurosciences Excellence Award in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
Hackensack University Medical Center is recognized by The Joint Commission, a national health care accreditation organization, for excellence in care and treatment for Parkinson’s Disease care, we offer the region’s most complete lineup of neuroscience services for movement disorders.
Hackensack Meridian Health’s Neuroscience Institute is a leader in the diagnosis and treatment of brain and spine disorders and for our cutting-edge research to advance the treatment of traumatic brain injury and stroke.
“The community my wife and I have become a part of at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute has helped me in all my areas, and it’s not just the exercise. It’s the exercise plus the camaraderie, the reinforcement, the fact that you’re doing something. God helps those who help themselves, and I need all the help I can get.” Watch Hugh's Video — Hugh McCourt, Edison, N.J.
Our neurological experts are equipped to care for the most intricate cases; from our fellowship-trained and board-certified physicians who hold the highest level of training and accreditation possible in their specialty, to our highly skilled nurses, we provide you with the best care and treatment options available, right here in your community.