Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders
The Neuroscience Institute at Hackensack University Medical Center has received Disease-Specific Certification from The Joint Commission, a national health care accreditation organization, for excellence in Parkinson’s disease care.
Our team routinely participates in clinical research for Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders, enabling us to offer our patients the latest, most promising treatments and therapies before they become widely available.
Our team is comprised of specialists from:
- Pediatric Neurology
- Sleep Medicine
- Neuropsychology and Cognitive Remediation
- Counseling Psychology
- Swallow and Speech Therapy
- Physical and Occupational Therapy
- Diet and Nutrition
Conditions We Treat
- Parkinson’s disease
- Cervical dystonia
- Huntington’s disease
- Progressive supranuclear palsy
- Restless legs syndrome
- Tardive dyskinesia
- Tic disorders
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Wilson’s disease
To diagnose your condition, your health care provider will review your symptoms and health history, conduct a physical exam and may perform additional tests, including:
- Imaging tests. Your health care provider may order imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT), to help uncover neurological abnormalities and diagnose your movement disorder.
- Movement neurophysiological exam. Your health care provider will use a series of tests involving different types of stimulation — including visual, audible and electrical stimulation — to detect neurological abnormalities.
- Neuropsychological exam. A neuropsychological exam assesses cognitive skills, such as attention, executive functioning, memory, language and visuospatial processing.
- Electromyography (EMG). EMG measures the electrical impulses along your nerves and muscles to test how well your nerves and muscles work together.
- Blood or urine samples. Your health care provider may ask you to provide blood or urine samples to check for markers of neurological disorders and rule out other conditions.
Our team will consider your diagnosis, evaluation, health history and other factors to construct a personalized treatment plan to meet your unique needs, control your symptoms, maintain independence and improve your quality of life. Treatment options may include:
Our neurological specialists provide patients with access to the latest nonsurgical therapies for Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, including:
- Medications can relieve the symptoms of movement disorders. Botox® injections, dopamine substitutes, anti-seizure and blood pressure medications are some examples.
- Chemodenervation uses Botox injections to block nerve signals to your muscles, reducing the degree of abnormal movement.
- Dietary therapy. Our neurological specialists collaborate with registered dietitians to design a dietary plan to provide optimal nutrition while maximizing the effectiveness of your medications and managing other symptoms, such as difficulty swallowing.
The neurosurgeons at the Hackensack University Medical Center Neuroscience Institute offer a full range of surgical treatments for movement disorders, including:
- Deep brain stimulation (DBS). DBS may be recommended for patients with symptoms that are not well controlled by medication. DBS works by implanting a small device in your brain that uses electrical stimulation to prevent nerve signals from causing abnormal movement. Your health care provider will let you know if you are a candidate for deep brain stimulation.
- Stereotactic thalamotomy. Used to treat essential tremor or tremor-dominant Parkinson’s disease, this procedure targets the part of the brain called the thalamus with radiofrequency generator or Gamma Knifeâ stereotactic radiosurgery technology and creates lesions that stop or reduce tremors.
- Stereotactic pallidotomy. This procedure uses stereotactic radiosurgery or radiofrequency ablation to create a small lesion in the part of the brain called the globus pallidus, which is responsible for movement control. Stereotactic pallidotomy may be an option for patients who cannot have DBS.
We offer a full range of supportive services, including:
- Counseling. Our psychologists will provide counseling services to help you and your family cope with the emotional challenges of living with a movement disorder.
- Neuropsychology. Our neuropsychologists will help you understand and cope with problems with memory and other cognitive changes that can occur with movement disorders.
- Cognitive remediation. Cognitive remediation helps people with neurological conditions learn to manage challenges related to memory, reasoning, planning and other cognitive functions.
- Speech therapy. Our speech-language pathologists follow the latest evidence-based treatment protocols to improve and preserve the voices of people with Parkinson’s disease.
- Physical therapy and exercise. Your health care provider may recommend physical therapy or group exercise classes to improve flexibility, balance and strength.
At Hackensack University Medical Center, our neuroscience experts provide our patients with access to the latest clinical trials for Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders.
For example, Hackensack University Medical Center is one of only a few U.S. medical centers participating in the RESTORE-1 Phase 2 clinical study, an investigational gene therapy trial for patients with Parkinson’s disease. Hooman Azmi, M.D., director of the Division of Movement Disorders at Hackensack University Medical Center’s Neuroscience Institute, performed the first surgery to place a one-time AADC gene into a specific part of the brain to stimulate dopamine production on October 7, 2019.
The Alfred N. Sanzari Medical Arts Building
360 Essex Street, Suite 303,