Movement disorder treatment in Denver, Colorado
Swedish Medical Center provides comprehensive movement disorder care with customized treatment plans to meet each person’s individual needs. Our movement disorder experts use the latest technology, medical treatments, and surgical options available to help our patients improve their quality of life.
What are movement disorders?
Every single movement a person makes involves an interaction with the nervous system and muscles. Most of the time these movements are voluntary (intentional). However, sometimes voluntary movements are slowed, or involuntary movements occur. Neurological conditions that lead to abnormal movements are often classified as movement disorders.
Swedish Medical Center specializes in helping with some of the most common types of neurological disease and other movement disorders, including:
- Ataxia (loss of muscle coordination)
- Tourette Syndrome
- Tardive Dyskinesia
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Dystonia (involuntary muscle contractions)
- Tremors (including essential tremor)
- Huntington’s Disease
Understanding the type of movement disorder and the underlying cause is essential to creating a customized treatment plan.
What causes movement disorders?
Due to the complexity of the interaction between the nervous system and muscles, anything that disrupts these connections in key areas of the brain can interfere with a person’s movements.
Below are some of the common causes of movement-related issues:
- Damage to the brain, spinal cord, or nerves
- Vascular disease
- Metabolic issues
- Medications (side effects)
Understanding the cause of the movement disorder is essential for creating a tailored treatment plan and individual goals to improve the quality of life.
What is an essential tremor?
Essential tremor is the most common type of movement disorder. It causes an action tremor in the shoulder, arm, forearm, wrist or hand. It may affect the voice and it makes it difficult to write, drink from a cup or use the telephone. Tremors on the right side of the body are caused by overactive cells in the left brain and tremors on the left side of the body are caused by overactive cells in the right brain.
Movement disorder treatment options
Depending upon the underlying cause of the movement-related issues, the treatment options and recommendations vary.
Below are some of the most common treatment options:
- Treatment of underlying disease
- Symptom and pain management
- Surgery (such as deep brain stimulation)
- Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS)
- Botulinum toxins (may help with dystonia, tics, myoclonus, and tremors)
Having a care team of neurologists that specializes in managing or treating the symptoms of movement-related disorders is essential for meeting individual goals and obtaining comprehensive care.
What is stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and how does it work?
Stereotactic radiosurgery delivers doses of pinpointed radiation to treat neurological diseases with minimal damage to normal brain tissue. Non-invasive stereotactic radiosurgery treatments are completed in a matter of hours as an outpatient procedure. Sometimes called “knifeless” surgery, patients are usually discharged within 12 hours and can return to preoperative lifestyle the day following the procedure.
How does SRS treat essential tremor?
Stereotactic radiosurgery is used to treat brain tumors, trigeminal neuralgia, vascular malformations and neurological disorders, especially essential tremor. When treating essential tremor, stereotactic radiosurgery precisely pinpoints its treatment to the cells of the affected ventral intermediate nucleus (VIM) in the section of the brain called the thalamus. Because this treatment technique is so precise, it minimizes risk to nearby sections of the brain that are functioning properly. The treatment includes nearly 200 beams of focused low-dose radiation to destroy the overactive cells in the affected VIM. Most patients see a reduction in tremor within three to six months.
What is deep brain stimulation (DBS) and how does it work?
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a minimally invasive process that is often referred to as a pacemaker for the brain and is used to assist those with debilitating neurological conditions in advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease or those with incapacitating dystonia or tremors.
Like a pacemaker, deep brain stimulation involves the delivery of an electrical stimulation to the part of the brain that helps control bodily movement. The device is implanted in the brain and a battery device placed under the chest wall. The device sends an electrical current to the brain, which changes the brain’s signaling. The electrical signals alter or stop the messages being sent to the brain that results in the tremors, muscle spasms, or other movement-related issues. The goal is to help relieve the symptoms of the neurological disorder being treated.
Who is a candidate for DBS?
Typically, DBS is reserved for patients who have movement-related symptoms that are disrupting their quality of life or have not received desirable results from other treatment options.
Does DBS work?
For the right candidate (based on the underlying cause of the movement disorder), deep brain stimulation can be incredibly effective, with the benefits lasting for several years. DBS gives a significant reduction in slowness, stiffness and tremor, which contributes to a substantial improvement in quality of life. Furthermore, patients who have movement-related issues as a result of medications can receive symptom reduction of up to 80%.
Tailored movement disorder treatment plans
The key to meeting your individual goals is a customized treatment plan that is created by an expert team of neurologists who specialize in movement disorders and associated diseases. Swedish Medical Center has award-winning neurologists, advanced technology, and a commitment to patient care that is essential to helping our patients improve their quality of life.
Contact movement disorder specialists in Denver
Swedish Medical Center specializes in providing comprehensive care to patients with movement disorders in Denver, Colorado area. Get the expert neurological care you need, find a doctor today that specializes in movement disorders or call our program coordinator.
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About Swedish Medical Center
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