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Clinical Services at Rush Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders

For more than 40 years, the Rush Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center has been a leader in treating and researching Parkinson's disease. It is one of the largest movement disorder centers in the country. Our team of eight neurologists who specialize in movement disorders provides clinical expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson's disease and movement disorders. Rush is also at the leading edge of pioneering research dedicated to advancing the understanding and treatment of these chronic, progressive diseases.

The clinicians at Rush understand that the emotional and behavioral components of these diseases are often the main drivers of a patient's quality of life. They take a holistic approach to patient care by addressing both the motor and nonmotor symptoms of Parkinson's and other movement disorders. 
 
Rush's neurology and neurosurgery program is consistently ranked among the nation's best by U.S. News & World Report.
 

Conditions treated

Our program offers comprehensive care that includes diagnosis, treatment, medication management, emotional support and education for patients with Parkinson's disease and the following conditions:

Diagnosis

Expert opinion is the gold standard for diagnosing Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders. Our highly experienced clinical team offers patients individualized examinations using some or all of the following tests:  

  • Health and family history: A discussion of symptoms; prior evaluations and treatment strategies; family history; medical history; and occupational or work history.
  • Examination: The neurologic examination includes an assessment of cognition (thinking and memory), movement, sensation, gait and balance. 
  • Manual motor testing: Patients are asked to perform motor tasks, such as tapping their index fingers to their thumbs repetitively.
  • Videotaping: Diagnosing movement disorders relies heavily on the presence of certain movements that are assessed visually. Videotaping the movement helps with diagnosis and is an important part of the clinical record.
  • Neuropsychiatric testing: Changes in cognition and behavior are common in most movement disorders. A neuropsychologist conducts a series of paper and pencil tests to evaluate these functions.
  • Imaging tests: While screening and imaging tests cannot diagnose movement disorders, they are often used to rule out other conditions and/or detect signs of other movement disorders. This may include some of the following tests:
    • Blood tests, MRI and CT scans
    • Electrical tests such as electroencephalogram (EEG) and electromyogram
    • DaTSCAN: A new test that measures dopamine in the brain and can be used to distinguish Parkinson's disease and parkinsonism from essential tremor 
    • Brain PET scan

Treatment

Patients have access to the most advanced treatments for managing their diseases. In addition to diagnosis and continuing care for people with movement disorders, we offer special appointments to newly diagnosed patients who are not on any medication because the first medication or treatment intervention decision for movement disorders is of utmost importance. 

We also provide second opinion services and consultations to both patients and referring physicians. 

Clinical team

The neurologists in the Rush Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center take a highly collaborative approach to treating the motor and nonmotor symptoms of Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders. Meet the movement disorders team at Rush.

Research and clinical trials

Physicians at Rush are involved in research and clinical trials evaluating new treatment options for movement disorders. Through clinical trials, some patients can access experimental treatments that are not otherwise available. 

Patient and family resources

Education: Clinicians at Rush teach patients how to combat the effects of Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders on their bodies, how to take medications properly and how to integrate a wide variety of treatment options. 

Social support: The center offers a quarterly newsletter and a monthly support group for patients and caregivers, along with a separate support group for young onset Parkinson's disease patients (under 50 years old). Our nursing experts and the program's social worker referral program can also be helpful to patients.

Psychosocial support: Patients also have access to the center's full-time psychiatrist and neuropsychologist in the clinic. 

Exercise and physical therapy: Exercise can help improve gait, balance, tremor, flexibility, grip strength and motor coordination in people with Parkinson's disease. Our team can help patients connect with personal trainers and physical therapists who specialize in Parkinson's disease and movement disorders. 

Frequently asked questions: Get answers from specialists from the Rush Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center.

Contact and Location

Rush Professional Building
1725 W. Harrison St., Suite 755
Chicago, IL 60612

To make an appointment, call (312) 563-2030.

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Contact Name
Movement Disorders Center at Rush
Contact Phone
(312) 563-2030
Contact E-mail
movement_disorder@rush.edu



LocationHours of Operation
Rush Professional Office Building
1725 W. Harrison St., Suite 755
Chicago, IL 60612

To inquire about hours or to make an appointment, call (312) 563-2030. Patients may be seen at our main offices on the Rush campus.



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