Movement Disorder

What are movement disorders?

Movement disorders is an umbrella term for a group of neurological conditions that trigger abnormally increased voluntary and involuntary movement as well as reduce the pace of the former. These can be a result of many factors like genetics, infections, side-effect of certain medication, damage or injury to the brain and spinal cords, metabolic disorders and cardiovascular diseases like stroke.

Common Types of Movement Disorders

Here is a list of some common movement disorders:


It is a neurological problem marked by the gradual loss of muscle control and coordination making it difficult to perform normal day to day activities. The disorder affects the cerebellum, which is responsible for controlling movement, as a result of which the patient is likely to face difficulty with coordination and speech along with an unsteady gait. Ataxia is usually diagnosed by physical examination, neuroimaging and detailed evaluation of the patient’s health.

The various symptoms associated with Ataxia include:

  • Problems with speech
  • Inability to perform motor tasks
  • Nystagmus
  • Difficulty with swallowing food
  • Inability to walk steadily

Cervical Dystonia

Commonly known as spasmodic torticollis, it is a neurological condition marked by persistent or intermittent spasms of the neck muscle due to which the neck starts bending towards the sides involuntarily. Although the condition is quite rare, it can affect the people of any age group and gender. Initially, the patient experiences very mild symptoms which worsen gradually. The condition cannot be cured, however, proper treatment can help to relieve the symptoms thereby improving the quality of the patient’s life.

As far as the symptoms are concerned, these involve the involuntary bending of the neck towards the back, front and sideways.


It is a neurological disorder marked by abrupt and uncontrolled body movements which may range from acute to chronic. Over time, the patient may also start to experience problems with speech, gait and posture. The condition is very likely to affect people with a history of rheumatic fever. The condition may also be triggered by the following:

  • AIDS
  • Unhealthy genetic mutations
  • Metabolic and endocrine disorders
  • Side effects of certain medication
  • Chronic infections


It is a movement disorder marked by the involuntary contractions of the muscles which result in repetitive movements or involuntary twisting. Depending upon the part of the body affected, dystonia can be broadly classified into two types – Generalised dystonia and Focal dystonia. The former affects the whole body whereas the latter only affects one part of it. Dystonia can affect the patient’s neck, eyelids, jaw, tongue, vocal cords and upper limbs. There is no permanent cure for the condition, however, medication and therapies can help to reduce the symptoms.


Parkinson’s disease is a long-term neurological disorder that affects the movement of the body and is marked by severe joint stiffness. The patient is likely to experience involuntary shaking and tremors. The condition is progressive in nature which means that the symptoms worsen with time making it difficult for the patient to walk or even speak. Although the condition cannot be cured, the symptoms can be managed by prescribed medication and therapies. Parkinson’s disease affects more than 10 million people globally and men are at 1.5 times higher risks of developing the disease as compared to women.

What are the early signs of Parkinson’s disease?

Since the disease progresses gradually, the patient usually experiences mild symptoms in the initial stages which keep on exacerbating with time. These include:

  • Mild tremors in the hands especially while holding something.
  • Problems with coordination and balance.
  • An evident change in posture. Some patients might also develop shuffling gait
  • Facial expression become more rigid due to nerve damage
  • Difficulty with speaking marked by tremors in voice.
  • Problems with sleeping
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About Nanavati Hospital

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