Movement Disorders

Research HighlightsVisit the Movement Disorders Patient page


The Movement Disorders division specializes in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of patients with neurological disorders characterized by involuntary movements. These disorders include relatively common diagnoses such as Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, spasticity, tremor, tardive dyskinesia, and Tourette syndrome as well as rarer conditions such as Huntington’s disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, multiple systems atrophy (Shy-Drager Syndrome), olivopontocerebellar atrophy, corticobasal syndrome, paroxsymal dyskinesias, Wilson's disease and many others.

As one of the largest Movement Disorders divisions in the country, Vanderbilt is home to expert faculty members in all of the above conditions. With a strong commitment to improving the quality of life for their patients, faculty members in the Movement Disorders division place great emphasis on providing evidence-based care and advancing novel interventions through industry-sponsored and investigator-initiated clinical trials. Vanderbilt is a nationally recognized leader in Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), as well as a top provider of jejunal infusions of levodopa and botulinum toxin injections. Faculty members serve as lead investigators on numerous clinical trials at any given time.

Parkinson’s Foundation logo

The Vanderbilt Parkinson's Disease Clinic has been recognized by the Parkinson's Foundation as a Center of Excellence. This clinic is a national leader in the area of clinical research for new medical and surgical treatments for Parkinson's disease and offers a comprehensive approach to care that addresses the whole person as well as the full range of symptoms. Education programs, outreach initiatives, workshops and support groups serve patients beyond the exam room.

The Movement Disorders division oversees a specialized clinic for adult and pediatric patients with Tourette syndrome. Faculty members also refer and follow patients in the DBS clinic. In addition, several Movement Disorders faculty work cross-departmentally with the Huntington’s Disease Clinic Center of Excellence.


Research HighlightsResearch Highlights

The broad scope of clinical expertise in the Movement Disorders Division ensures that patient-focused research initiatives pave the way for groundbreaking treatment options. This research has already yielded improvements in the lives of patients, and continues to open doors to the potential for disease modification. Many studies are executed in collaboration with other divisions and departments.

Highlights of current areas of research include:

  • New devices and techniques in DBS, in close collaboration with the Neurosurgery Department
  • Neuroprotective therapies for Parkinson’s disease; Vanderbilt is a designated NET-PD site
  • Sensory symptoms and their electrophysiologic correlates in Tourette syndrome
  • Developing strategies to enhance identification and treatment of neuropsychiatric manifestations of Huntington’s Disease

Vanderbilt is also part of a national outcomes research project funded by the Parkinson’s Foundation. The Movement Disorders Division regularly receives funding from such institutions as the National Institutes of Health, Parkinson’s Foundation, the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, and more.

For additional details on current research, visit Movement Disorders Research and the Vanderbilt Parkinson's Disease Center.


EducationEducation

Physicians pursuing further training with the Vanderbilt Movement Disorders Division will work in conjunction with one of the largest expert faculties in the field, gaining rich clinical experience as well as cutting edge clinical research opportunities. Trainees will have access to one of the country’s most active DBS clinics and other specialty clinics, while dynamically exploring experimental therapeutics for movement disorders. 

A Movement Disorders Fellowship is offered each year to one qualified applicant. 


Recent & Notable PublicationsRecent & Notable Publications

Amjad F, Bhatti D, Davis TL, et al. Current Practices for Outpatient Initiation of Levodopa-Carbidopa Intestinal Gel  for Management of Advanced Parkinson’s Disease in the United States. Adv Ther 2019;36:2233–46. doi:10.1007

Colosimo C, Charles D, Misra VP, et al. How satisfied are cervical dystonia patients after 3 years of botulinum toxin type A treatment? Results from a prospective, long-term observational study. J Neurol 2019;266:3038–46. doi:10.1007/s00415-019-09527-2/s12325-019-01014-41

Isaacs DA, Butler J, Sukul V, et al. Confined Thalamic Deep Brain Stimulation in Refractory Essential Tremor. Stereotact Funct Neurosurg 2018;96:296–304. doi:10.1159/000493546

Nagy AM, Tolleson CM. Rescue Procedures after Suboptimal Deep Brain Stimulation Outcomes in Common Movement Disorders. Brain Sci 2016;6. doi:10.3390/brainsci6040046