Treatment for Movement Disorders
Once you are diagnosed with a movement disorder, our team of experts at the Binter Center for Parkinson's Disease & Movement Disorders at the University of Vermont Medical Center will work closely with you to create a personalized treatment plan.
Below are some of the services we provide:
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)
Deep brain stimulation is a treatment that uses electrical impulses to stimulate a target area in the brain.
- Consideration for DBS treatment for Parkinson's disease includes the following factors:
- Established diagnosis of Parkinson's disease
- Inconsistent control of motor symptoms despite optimized medication therapy
- Uncontrolled involuntary movements (dyskinesia)
- Essential Tremor that is resistant to medical therapy can be treated with DBS.
- Some cases of dystonia can also be treated with DBS.
Botulinum Toxin Treatment
Botulinum toxin injections are commonly used in the treatment of dystonia, spasticity and other focal movement disorders. Botulinum toxin weakens and relaxes the involved muscles for the effective period of the drug thereby reducing the intensity of involuntary muscle contractions. When effective, doses are usually repeated approximately every 3 months.
Some examples of commonly treated conditions include:
- Focal dystonia (e.g. cervical dystonia/torticollis, limb dystonia, "writer's cramp")
- Spasticity (e.g. related to stroke, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury)
- Hemifacial spasm
DaTscan is a nuclear medicine brain scan used when a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease is not definitive. DaTscan shows the uptake of dopamine in the brain; asymmetric uptake can confirm a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease.
Specialized Rehabilitative Therapies for PD/Movement Disorders
Therapists at the UVM Medical Center are certified in LSVT BIG® and LOUD® therapies, physical/occupational therapy and speech therapy programs, respectively, that are geared specifically for patients with Parkinson's disease. These specialized programs take place in 16 one-hour sessions over 4 weeks. Upon completion, participants have the option to continue exercising in a supervised group setting. Visit Outpatient Rehabilitation.
Social Work and Counseling
Lori P. McKenna, LICSW provides counseling and support services for patients, families, and caregivers. She can help with:
- Caregiver support (maintaining personal health, avoiding caregiver fatigue, respite, grief/loss, and adjustment issues, defining one's circle of support, etc.)
- Mental health support
- Educational support (understanding the disease process, communication strategies, behavioral changes such as agitation/depression, sleep changes, enhancing daily life, personal care, safety, etc.)
- Decision making and future planning
Clinic for Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders
The multidisciplinary clinic is held monthly at the Rehab Outpatient Center at the Fanny Allen campus. Patients who attend this clinic have the opportunity to be evaluated by a movement disorders specialist, nurse, physical therapist and occupational therapist. For patients requiring multiple services, this is a convenient “one-stop shop” way to coordinate care.