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The proper care of people with Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders begins with an early and accurate diagnosis. Patients with movement disorders who are assessed at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell benefit from diagnostic studies based on the latest technology and the results of clinical studies. At their first visit, patients who come to us for evaluation receive a thorough evaluation for an extended period of time from a seasoned team of movement disorder experts.
Our specialists take a complete medical history and perform a detailed physical and neurological examination. Patients may undergo imaging tests, such as computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, through NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell's highly regarded neuroimaging program to help rule out other diseases or conditions that may be causing a patient's symptoms. This program also offers the DaTSCAN, an advanced imaging test used to detect dopamine transporters (DAT) in patients with suspected Parkinson's disease and Parkinson's-like syndromes.
Tailored Treatment Plans
Once our team makes a diagnosis of a movement disorder, they work together to assemble a personalized plan of care for each patient that is adjusted periodically as time goes on. Each patient's healthcare team is highly experienced in providing:
- Medications such as levodopa and other drugs to control symptoms.
- Botulinum (Botox®) injections to control symptoms in patients with dystonia or hemifacial spasm
- "Deep brain stimulation" (DBS), which has become an important tool in the treatment of Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders. NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell is one of the busiest and most prestigious centers offering this treatment. With DBS, neurosurgeons implant a device that acts like a pacemaker for the brain, reducing abnormal brain activity and minimizing involuntary movements in patients with Parkinson's disease, dystonia, and tremor. DBS also enables many patients to reduce their dependence on medications, which over time may cause unpleasant side effects. The team at the Parkinson's Disease & Movement Disorders Institute collaborates closely with neurosurgeons in the Center for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery to provide this advanced treatment.
- Our team of specialists is happy to work with patients interested in pursuing complementary medicine as part of their therapy. For example, our doctors work with Dance for PD®, an organization that uses professional dancers to work with Parkinson's disease patients to explore and enjoy movement as therapy.
- Special services are available for performing artists who develop movement disorders, offered through the Center for the Performing Artist at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine.
Rehabilitation and Support
Physical, occupational, speech/voice, swallowing, and nutrition therapy can help patients with Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders maintain function over time. Rehabilitation experts at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell assess patients' muscle strength and motor skills, recommend devices and modifications to ensure patient's safety and mobility, and discuss ways to modify activities, conserve energy, and simplify work.
Our team is also very involved in community outreach to raise awareness of movement disorders and the resources available to patients and their families.