Movement Disorders

The movement of any muscle in our body involves the complex coordination between the muscles, nerves, and central nervous system. Damage to any of these components results in a movement disorder. Depending on the underlying condition causing the movement disorder, the movement may be slowed or increased.

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  • Parkinson’s Disease: It is a progressive neurological condition characterized by uncontrolled or unintended muscle movements. The initial symptoms are mild and involve tremors in the hands. The condition may also result in slowing movement due to muscle stiffness. Complications of Parkinson's disease include swallowing problems, difficulty thinking, sleeping disorders, alteration in emotions, depression, constipation, and bladder problems. The patients may also experience sexual dysfunction, weakness, fatigue, and changes in blood pressure. However, the condition can be effectively managed through various treatment strategies.
  • Cervical Dystonia: Cervical dystonia involves the involuntary contraction of the neck muscles into an abnormal position, resulting in repeated twisting of the neck and head. The patients may experience such movement, constantly or intermittently. The other symptoms of cervical dystonia include hand tremors, neck muscle enlargement, headache, and neck pain radiating to the shoulder.
  • Multiple System Atrophy: Patients with this condition have a gradual deterioration of the nerve cells present in the brain. The symptoms of multiple system atrophy are more widespread and affect several organs. The symptoms are similar to those of Parkinson's disease. The condition also affects digestion, breathing, and bladder control.
  • Tardive Dyskinesia: Tardive dyskinesia occurs in patients who are on antipsychotic medications. Patients with this condition experience the involuntary movement of the lips, tongue, trunk, face, and extremities. Patients with diabetes, substance abuse disorder, HIV, and traumatic brain injury are at increased risk of tardive dyskinesia. Complications of tardive dyskinesia include dental problems, difficulty in swallowing and, speaking, breathing problems, and alteration in facial characteristics, such as drooping eyelids.
  • Wilson’s Disease: It is a genetic condition characterized by the accumulation of excessive copper in the body, especially in the brain and liver. Patients with this condition develop symptoms depending upon the organs with excessive copper deposition. For example, if copper deposits in the brain, it causes uncontrolled movements or tremors, muscle stiffness, speaking problems, swallowing difficulty, and a lack of coordination.
  • Huntington’s Disease: It is a genetic condition that results in the progressive degeneration of the nerve cells present in the brain. The condition causes movement disorders, such as difficulty speaking and swallowing, altered eye movements, muscle rigidity and contracture, involuntary writhing movements, and impaired balance. As the disease progresses, there is a significant reduction in the quality of life of patients suffering from Huntington's disease. The most common complications that result in the death of these patients include injuries due to falls, infections, such as pneumonia, and the inability to swallow.