Movement Disorders

Innovative treatment, respectful care.
Movement Disorders

We understand that a diagnosis of Parkinson's or a movement disorder can be frightening for you and your family. With that in mind, the team at the Capistrant Center provides medical evaluations, treatment, support and resources, and personalized, compassionate and respectful care.

Parkinson's Disease & Movement Disorders

Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system. The cause is likely due to a slight genetic tendency that is triggered by a toxin. Onset before age 45 often has a strong genetic cause and predictability.

Parkinson's disease affects men and women in almost equal numbers. It shows no social, ethnic, economic or geographic boundaries. It is estimated that 1.5 million Americans have Parkinson's disease. In the United States, an estimated 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. While the condition usually develops after the age of 65, 15 percent of those diagnosed are under the age of 50.

Signs and symptoms

The loss of dopamine production in the brain causes the primary symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

These symptoms include:

  • Tremor (shaking)
  • Slowness of movement, rigidity (stiffness)
  • Difficulty with balance

Other signs of Parkinson's disease may include:

  • Small, cramped handwriting
  • Stiff facial expression
  • Shuffling walk
  • Muffled speech
  • Depression


For a neurologist with experience in movement disorders, making the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease is not usually difficult.  However, there are conditions that mimic the signs and symptoms of Parkinson's disease and they need to be ruled out first.

While a Parkinson's disease diagnosis is made clinically without elaborate diagnostic testing (like MRI/CT scans or blood tests), some "look-a-like" conditions may require these tests. For this reason, people suspected of having Parkinson’s disease should consider seeking the care of a neurologist who specializes in Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. 


Research around Parkinson's disease holds great promise. Scientists are looking at stem cell and gene transfer techniques aimed at restoring lost brain cell function.

{Related Links: Movement Disorders - Parkinsons}

Movement Disorders

Movement disorders are neurological conditions that affect a person's movement. Depending on the disorder, speed, fluency or ease of movement may be affected.

Movement disorders can occur when there is damage or disease in an area at the base of the brain called the basal ganglia. This area is made up of clusters of nerve cells called neurons. Neurons send and receive electrical signals and are responsible for involuntary movement.

The Capistrant Center treats a wide variety of movement disorders, including:

  • Akathisia
  • Ataxia 
  • Athetosis
  • Atypical Parkinsonism (including multiple system atrophy, progressive supranuclear palsy, cortical-basal ganglionic degeneration, Lewy Body Dementia)
  • Blepharospasm
  • Chorea
  • Dystonia (including generalized primary dystonia, secondary dystonia, cervical dystonia, cranial dystonia, spasmodic dysphonia, dopa responsive dystonia, writer's cramp, musician's cramp)
  • Gait disorders
  • Hemifacial spasm
  • Huntington's disease
  • Idiopathic Parkinson's disease
  • Myoclonus
  • Paroxysmal kinesigenic and non-kinesigenic dyskinesias and dystonias
  • Periodic limb movement disorder
  • Psychogenic movement disorders
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Stiff person syndrome
  • Startle
  • Tardive syndromes
  • Tics
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Tremor (including essential tremor, cerebellar outflow tremor, orthostatic tremor, rubral tremor and dystonic tremor)
  • Wilson's disease

Contact Us

Appointments and classes for Alzheimer's & Memory Loss Clinic, Brain Injury Clinic, Concussion Clinic or the Capistrant Center and therapy services.

General fax: 651-326-2137
New patient fax: 651-326-9227 (referral requests only)


Monday - Friday, 8 am to 4: 30 pm

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