Neurological Movement Disorders

Neurological movement disorders comprise a group of conditions characterized by abnormal or involuntary movements and impacting motor function. These disorders arise from dysfunction in the brain's motor control system, affecting the coordination, speed, and fluidity of movements. They may manifest as tremors, stiffness, slowness, or involuntary movements. 

Specialized care is crucial for those affected by neurological movement disorders. At Haynes Neurosurgical Group, we recognize the significance of addressing these disorders with expertise and precision.

How Neurological Movement Disorders Impact Life

Neurological movement disorders constitute multiple conditions linked to disruptions in the neural pathways that control coordinated movement. These disorders stem from irregularities in the brain's electrical signaling, leading to a variety of motor function challenges.

This interference can have a deep impact on daily life, influencing various aspects of a patient’s well-being.

Challenges in Everyday Tasks

The irregular signals caused by these disorders often lead to difficulties performing routine activities. Simple tasks, like writing, eating, or walking, may become more challenging, affecting overall independence.

Social and Emotional Impact

Beyond physical challenges, these disorders can impact social interactions and emotional well-being. The visible symptoms, such as tremors or involuntary movements, may lead to self-consciousness and affect one's confidence in social settings.

Cognitive Problems

In addition to physical limitations, neurological movement disorders can affect cognitive function, leading to memory problems, difficulty concentrating, or executive dysfunction. These cognitive impairments can impact work performance, relationships, and daily functioning.

Unique Symptoms, Unique Impact

Every neurological movement disorder may have unique symptoms, and their impact on daily life varies. Understanding these intricacies is crucial for tailoring effective treatments that address specific challenges faced by patients.

Life with Movement Disorders

Living with a neurological movement disorder often requires significant adjustments. Patients may need to rely on assistive devices, adapt their home environment, or seek assistance from caregivers. The financial burden of medical treatments and ongoing care can also be a source of stress and worry.

However, with proper diagnosis, treatment, and support, individuals with neurological movement disorders can improve their quality of life. Rehabilitation programs and support groups can also provide valuable resources and emotional support.

At Haynes Neurosurgical Group, we understand the challenges faced by individuals with neurological movement disorders. Our comprehensive and personalized approach aims to alleviate symptoms, enhance independence, and improve the overall quality of life for patients with these disorders.

Common movement disorders include Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, and dystonia.

Parkinson's Disease (PD)

Parkinson's Disease is a neurological condition that results in tremors, stiffness, and a slowing down of movements. As the disease advances, it gradually impacts various aspects of a person's life, influencing both motor and non-motor functions.

Parkinson's Disease is the second most occurring neurodegenerative disorder globally.

The fundamental cause of Parkinson's Disease lies in the deterioration of nerve cells in the brain, particularly those responsible for producing dopamine. Dopamine is a critical neurotransmitter that helps in facilitating smooth, controlled movements. As the levels of dopamine decrease, the communication between nerve cells becomes impaired, leading to the characteristic symptoms of Parkinson's Disease.

While there is no cure for Parkinson's Disease, various treatment approaches aim to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. 

Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease

Symptoms of PD include:

  • Tremors or involuntary shaking that usually starts in the hands
  • Bradykinesia or slowed movement and difficulty initiating movements
  • Muscle rigidity and uncomfortably stiff muscles
  • Postural instability, impaired balance and coordination, and increased risk of falls
  • Non-motor symptoms, such as sleep disturbances, mood changes, and cognitive impairment

Causes of Parkinson's Disease

While its exact cause remains unknown, both genetic and environmental factors may cause Parkinson's Disease. Specific genetic mutations may increase susceptibility, and exposure to environmental toxins could play a role in triggering the onset of the disease.

Essential Tremor

Essential Tremor is a neurological disorder characterized by the involuntary shaking or trembling of certain parts of the body, most commonly the hands and arms. Unlike Parkinson's Disease, essential tremor is often an action tremor, meaning it occurs during voluntary movements and is less pronounced at rest. 

Essential Tremor is considered one of the most common movement disorders, impacting millions of people of all ages. The condition often begins in early adulthood but can occur at any age.

The precise cause of Essential Tremor is not known, but it is believed to involve abnormal electrical brain activity. Genetic factors play a significant role, with many cases having a familial component. 

The tremors associated with Essential Tremor can range from mild to severe and may progress over time. While Essential Tremor is not curable, various management strategies can help alleviate symptoms. 

Symptoms of Essential Tremor

Symptoms of Essential Tremor can include:

  • Involuntary shaking during activities such as holding objects, writing, or eating
  • Tremors become more noticeable during purposeful movements
  • Tremors may vary in severity and can affect different parts of the body

Causes of Essential Tremor

While the exact cause is not known, Essential Tremor may have a strong genetic component. It is believed that changes in certain genes may increase susceptibility to developing the condition. Additionally, environmental factors may contribute to its onset.


Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder marked by sustained muscle contractions, leading to repetitive and often twisting movements or abnormal postures. 

This disorder can affect various body parts, causing involuntary muscle contractions that can cause twisting, repetitive movements, or unusual postures. Dystonia can impact one specific area (focal), multiple areas (multifocal), or the entire body (generalized).

Abnormalities in certain brain regions that control movement and muscle contractions may contribute to the development of dystonia.

Although dystonia is a relatively uncommon disorder, it can affect people of all ages. Furthermore, it may manifest differently in each individual, causing symptoms to vary in type and severity.

Symptoms of Dystonia

Symptoms of dystonia may include:

  • Involuntary and sustained muscle contractions cause repetitive movements or abnormal postures
  • Body parts may twist into unusual positions
  • Pain or discomfort due to sustained muscle contractions

Causes of Dystonia

While the primary cause remains unclear, dystonia is thought to result from a malfunction in the basal ganglia, a region of the brain involved in motor control. Genetic factors, certain medications, or trauma can contribute to the development of dystonia.

Dystonia is a chronic condition but can be managed through various approaches to help control symptoms. Treatment may include medications, Botox injections, physical therapy, and, in some cases, surgical interventions.

Diagnosing and Treating Neurological Movement Disorders

Diagnosing and managing neurological movement disorders requires a thorough evaluation by a neurologist or neurosurgeon. At Haynes Neurosurgical Group, our comprehensive and meticulous diagnostic approach uses advanced tools and methodologies to identify and understand each patient's unique situation.

Treatment plans for neurological movement disorders are tailored to the specific condition and individual needs. They may involve medications, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and surgical interventions.

Expertise in Neurological Movement Disorders in Alabama

At Haynes Neurosurgical Group, our experienced neurosurgeons specialize in the nuances of neurological movement disorders. We use advanced diagnostics and patient-centered care to empower patients to lead fulfilling and functional lives.

Our seasoned neurosurgeons use highly advanced technologies and employ a patient-centric ethos at Alabama’s premiere neurosurgical practice.

To schedule a consultation with one of our experts, call us at (205) 787-8676 or request an appointment online. 

Phone: (205) 787-8676
Fax: (205) 785-7944

801 Princeton Avenue, S.W.
P.O.B. I, Suite 310
Birmingham, AL 35211

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