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Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Program — Conditions We Treat

The following conditions are some of the most common conditions treated by specialists in this area. These specialists offer expert care for many other related medical problems. If you need care for a condition not listed here, please call (888) 352-RUSH (7874) to find a doctor who can help you.

  • Ataxia

    Ataxia refers to clumsy or uncoordinated movement. It frequently appears as uncoordinated walking or balance difficulties and can occur in children or adults. Ataxia can be progressive and associated with other medical problems, such as heart disease.
  • Chorea

    Chorea is a movement disorder characterized by involuntary, jerky movements. Chorea is a primary feature of Huntington’s disease, a hereditary, progressive movement disorder. Children and adults can develop Sydenham chorea as a complication of rheumatic fever.
  • Corticobasal Degeneration

    Corticobasal degeneration is a progressive neurological disorder in which parts of the brain break down. This degeneration includes parts of the brain involved in information processing (cerebral cortex) and movement (basal ganglia). Corticobasal degeneration symptoms can be similar to some Parkinson’s disease symptoms, such as slowness and rigidity.
  • Dystonia is a chronic and often progressive neurological disorder that causes muscles to contract involuntarily.
  • Essential Tremor

    Essential tremor is a disorder in which tremor occurs in the outstretched arms or when performing movement with the arms. The head, voice and legs may also be involved with tremor. The disorder is frequently inherited, affecting several family members. Rush is the first in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri to offer MR-guided focused ultrasound as an option for people with essential tremor who meet certain criteria; this safe, incisionless treatment uses heat energy to target the spot in the brain that controls tremor.

    FXTAS, Fragile X-associated tremor ataxia syndrome, is a progressive neurological disorder caused by a change or mutation in the FMR1 gene (the gene responsible for Fragile X). It can affect both genders but is more common in men. Symptoms of FXTAS include tremor, balance problems (ataxia), slowness of movement, memory issues and numbness of the feet.
  • Huntington's disease (also referred to as Huntington's chorea) is an inherited disease that causes certain nerve cells in the brain to degenerate or waste away. The team at the Rush Huntington's disease program work with patients to help alleviate the symptoms of the disease, including movement problems.
  • Lewy Body Disease

    Lewy body disease, sometimes called Lewy body dementia, occurs when abnormal proteins known as Lewy bodies form in the brain. These proteins are a common cause of dementia in older adults. They also are associated with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Multiple System Atrophy

    Multiple system atrophy is a rare condition that causes symptoms similar to those caused by Parkinson’s disease, including slowness, stiffness and trouble walking. Compared to Parkinson’s, multiple system atrophy is less likely to cause tremor and more likely to cause fluctuations in blood pressure, incontinence and inability to sweat normally. It gets its name from the fact that it affects multiple parts of the body.
  • Myoclonus

    Myoclonus is a disorder defined by quick, strong muscle jerks that cause involuntary movement. It may involve all muscles of the body, or muscles in a specific area, such as the palate or diaphragm. In some cases, myoclonus is hereditary. Other causes of myoclonus include brain diseases and some medications.
  • Parkinson's disease is a chronic, progressive movement disorder that affects the body's ability to control movement.
  • Parkinsonism

    Parkinsonisms are disorders that cause symptoms similar to those caused by Parkinson’s disease. Parkinsonisms include multiple system atrophy, progressive supranuclear palsy and cortiobasal degeneration.
  • Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

    Progressive supranuclear palsy is a parkinsonism, or disease that causes symptoms similar to those caused by Parkinson’s disease. Its first symptoms are often staggering and frequent falls. Other symptoms include growling speech and a startled facial expression.
  • Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

    Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological condition. People who have it experience uncontrollable urges to move their legs, as well as leg pain and discomfort. Episodes of restless legs syndrome often occur at night, which can make sleeping difficult.
  • Spasticity

    Spasticity is a type of muscle stiffness that makes movement difficult. It is a symptom of many neurological conditions, including multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury and others.
  • Tourette syndrome is a condition that causes tics, which are sudden and uncontrollable twitches, movements or sounds.
  • Tremor

    Tremor is unintentional shaking or trembling that can occur in the hands, arm, head, face, vocal cords, trunk or legs. Common in people who suffer a stroke or have a neuromuscular condition such as Parkinson’s disease, dystonia or multiple sclerosis, tremor can also affect otherwise healthy people.