Movement disorders affect everyone differently — that’s why we believe personalized, compassionate care is the best approach to treatment.

As national leaders in the care of movement disorders, the Baptist Health Brain & Spine Care team offers the most innovative treatment options so you can live your best life. We bring together experts from Baptist Health Miami Neuroscience Institute and Baptist Health Marcus Neuroscience Institute who combine to have decades of experience treating and researching movement disorders.

Our Approach to Movement Disorders Care

Our Approach to Movement Disorders Care

When you choose Baptist Health, you can expect:

  • A personalized approach to your care, with a treatment plan tailored to your needs
  • A team of neurologists, functional neurosurgeons, advanced practice providers, nurses and therapists with specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of movement disorders
  • Access to the most advanced diagnostic and treatment technology, including high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)

What Are Movement Disorders?

Movement disorders are complex conditions of the brain or spinal cord (neurological conditions) that cause abnormal movements, including:

  • Balance issues
  • Involuntary muscle contractions (dystonia)
  • Tremors

Movement disorders have many causes, including brain injury, infection, inflammation, and other diseases or conditions. Though most movement disorders can’t be cured, doctors can treat symptoms to improve your quality of life.

We also treat symptoms associated with a range of balance disorders, orthostatic hypotension (sudden drop in blood pressure) and myoclonus (muscle spasms).

  • Parkinson disease is among the most common movement disorders we treat at Baptist Health. Our team is trained to address the cognitive and behavioral issues associated with Parkinson disease. We also treat rare forms of Parkinson disease, including:

    • Cortical basilar degeneration (CBD)
    • Multisystem atrophy (MSA)
    • Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP)

Diagnosing Movement Disorders

There is no single test to diagnose a movement disorder. An accurate diagnosis is the first step toward treatment.

To get an accurate diagnosis, our team conducts a detailed exam. We will examine your brain function, nerves, strength, coordination, sensation and reflexes.

Doctors may order an imaging test, called an MRI, to rule out other conditions that could cause your symptoms.

Baptist Health Brain & Spine Care also offers DaTscan to diagnose Parkinson disease. This test uses special imaging equipment to see if your body makes dopamine properly. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter — a chemical your body makes to send messages between nerve cells. People with Parkinson disease and related disorders usually have low dopamine levels.

  • Some movement disorders are passed down through families. Huntington’s disease, for example, is hereditary. Our team will talk with you about your genetic risk for movement disorders.

    Genetic testing can help show whether you have certain inherited genes that can cause movement disorders. Baptist Health Brain & Spine Care partners with various labs in our community to offer genetic testing for some movement disorders. These include:

    Your doctor will discuss whether genetic testing is right for you.

Movement Disorders Treatments

Baptist Health Brain & Spine Care offers the latest and most advanced treatments for movement disorders. These therapies are often provided alongside cognitive behavioral, speech, occupational and physical therapy.

  • If you’ve been diagnosed with a movement disorder, our team may use medicines to help manage your symptoms. These medicines come in different forms, including oral medications, injectables and patches that you place on your skin. Our team will meet regularly with you to see whether your symptoms improve and to adjust your medicines as needed.

    If you’ve been diagnosed with dystonia or a similar disorder, we may suggest treatment using Botox injections.

  • Our doctors may recommend deep brain stimulation (DBS) if medicine doesn’t reduce your movement disorder symptoms. DBS treats different movement disorders, including Parkinson disease, dystonia and essential tremor.

    During DBS, functional neurosurgeons implant small electrodes on your brain. These electrodes send electrical impulses to control abnormal movements.

    Our functional neurosurgeons are known internationally for their expertise in DBS. We offer both awake and asleep DBS. Awake DBS allows surgeons to “listen to neurons” as they are activated, ensuring treatment delivery to the right areas of the brain during the procedure.

  • Some people with movement disorders have trouble absorbing medication properly. If you have trouble absorbing medication, you may benefit from an implantable pump. At Baptist Health, we offer the Duopa pump for Parkinson disease treatment. The Duopa pump is a small device that pumps medicine directly into your small intestine.

  • Baptist Health Brain & Spine Care offers high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). Doctors use this innovative therapy to treat essential tremor.

    HIFU is a minimally invasive procedure. During HIFU, you will sit in an MRI scanner so your doctor can target the part of your brain that’s causing symptoms. Your doctor will then use ultrasound energy to destroy the cells causing the abnormal movements.

    After HIFU treatment, you should feel your tremor symptoms subside immediately.

    "First of all, I would say thank you and I’d like to encourage people that might be suffering from this situation — please go check it out."

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Photo of Pete Cotto
"I'm hoping that this operation, this deep brain stimulation, will make me a father that is proud of his daughter walking down the aisle."

Meet Our Movement Disorders Specialists

Our experienced neurologists and functional neurosurgeons are leaders in developing new therapies for movement disorders. Backed by advanced practice providers, neuroradiologists, neuropsychologists, social workers, and speech and rehabilitation therapists, our team creates a treatment plan tailored just for you.

Our Locations

We provide care for movement disorders throughout Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. Find a location near you.

Movement Disorders Clinical Trials

Movement Disorders Clinical Trials

You may benefit from participating in a clinical trial if you have a movement disorder. Clinical trials are research studies testing the effectiveness of new medications and therapies.

The movement disorders experts with Baptist Health Brain & Spine Care participate in studies designed to advance how we diagnose and treat the symptoms of movement disorders.

The team is currently part of a trial to improve treatment for orthostatic hypotension, a sudden drop in blood pressure affecting many with Parkinson disease.

Recent Brain & Spine Care News

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