Movement Disorders

People with movement disorders can experience involuntary movement such as tremor, abnormal posture, slowness, walking difficulty, and stiffness due to neurological conditions.

More than 30 different diseases are identified as neurological movement disorders. These disorders, which include Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, and dystonia, range from mild to severe.  While symptoms vary widely, the disorders are often progressive, increasing in severity over time. Nearly 40 million people in the U.S. have movement disorder of some type. Most movement disorders are not curable, although treatment may slow or decrease symptoms.

Movement disorders are often induced by pathological changes within the brain. Often, the cause may not be known, although heredity and environment may play a role in some cases.

While many movement disorders are not life threatening, patients are significantly impacted in their ability to function well and live independently. Depression and other mental problems can coexist. In addition, abnormal posture or movement may result in severe pain.

Treatments include medications, botulinum toxin injections, occupational and physical therapy, and surgical procedures such as deep brain stimulation that are used to control motor symptoms.


1. Shipton EA. Movement Disorders and Neuromodulation. Neurol Res Int. 2012;2012:309431.

Reviewed Aug. 20, 2013
Takashi Morishita, MD, PhD
Member, International Neuromodulation Society
Associate Professor
Fukuoka University Faculty of Medicine
Department of Neurosurgery
Fukuoka, Japan

Last Updated on Sunday, November 21, 2021 08:13 PM