Click to expand each grey box and learn more about the title topic.
What is Ataxia?
Ataxia is a sign of an abnormality in the brain or nerves causing difficulty coordinating movements. It can effect walking, arm and leg control, speaking, swallowing and activities requiring fine motor control. There are many causes of Ataxia including stroke, certain vitamin deficiencies, drug or alcohol use, genetic diseases, Wilson’s disease, multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy. Diagnosis is made through physical exam and certain tests depending on your history and exam.
Blepharospasm is a neurological condition which causes involuntary blinking and spasm of the eyelids. It can be a sign of another neurological disease or it can be isolated. Botulinum toxin injections are the most effective treatment for blepharospasm and this can be done through our clinic.
Corticobasal degeneration is a progressive neurological condition caused by abnormal tau protein in the brain cells. It causes symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease such as rigidity, slowness of movement, tremor and imbalance. It can also cause cognitive impairment or dementia. It does not typically respond well to medications used to treat Parkinson’s disease, but there are ways to help manage symptoms such as providing supportive medications and therapies.
Dementia with Lewy Bodies is a neurodegenerative disease causing fluctuating symptoms of progressive cognitive decline, Parkinsonism and hallucinations. It can also cause anxiety, depression and sleep disturbances. People with DLB are often very sensitive to medications used to treat Parkinson’s disease and do not tolerate them well, but there are ways to help manage symptoms such as providing supportive medications and therapies.
Multiple System Atrophy is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by abnormal accumulation of alpha synuclein proteins in the brain. It is similar to Parkinson’s disease and is characterized by rigidity, tremor, slowness of movement and instability. It is also associated with autonomic nervous system problems such as low blood pressure and sensation of light headedness, urinary incontinence, and lower leg swelling. Some patients also have abnormal coordination. It does not typically respond well to medications used to treat Parkinson’s disease, but there are ways to help manage symptoms such as providing supportive medications and therapies.
Myoclonus is an abnormal neurological sign, not a disease. It is characterized by sudden, involuntary, abnormal jerking of muscles. It can be benign or associated with a variety of neurological diseases. Myoclonus can be treated with medications.
Parkinsonism is a group of symptoms similar to those found in Parkinson’s disease. Parkinsonism can be caused by Parkinson’s disease, cerebrovascular disease, certain medications, Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Multiple System Atrophy, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy and Corticobasal degeneration. All types of Parkinsonism are clinical diagnoses which means that they are diagnosed by history and physical exam. Treatment depends on the type of Parkinsonism diagnosed by the provider.
Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by abnormal accumulation of tau proteins in the brain. It causes symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease with slowness, stiffness and tremor. It can also cause slowness of eye movements, mood and cognitive changes and early falls. It often does not respond well to medications used to treat Parkinson’s disease, but there are ways to help manage symptoms such as providing supportive medications and therapies.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological condition which causes abnormal sensations in the legs and sometimes arms resulting in an uncontrollable urge to move. Movement helps relieve the symptoms temporarily. Symptoms generally occur at night, but can occur during the day as well when trying to rest or relax.
Tardive Dyskinesia is a neurological disease causing abnormal and involuntary movements. Most often, these movements are seen in the tongue, lips and face, but they can also occur in the arms, legs or torso. It is caused by taking certain medications for psychiatric or gastrointestinal disorders, usually for long periods of time.
Tics are involuntary, repetitive movements (motor tics) and vocalizations (vocal tics). Tics are usually associated with a sensation or urge to perform the tic (premonitory sensation) followed by a sense of relief afterwards. They are a symptom of neurodevelopmental disorders which begin in childhood. Tourette syndrome is a tic disorder characterized by having a combination of two motor tics and one vocal tic for one year or more. Education, environmental adaptations and medications can help manage symptoms.
Wilson’s disease is a rare genetic disorder causing abnormal accumulation of copper in the liver, brain and other organs. Symptoms can include fatigue, yellowing of the skin, abdominal pain, abnormal movements, depression and anxiety. It is diagnosed with laboratory tests and treated with chelation, medications and diet changes.
Writers and Musicians Cramp is a type of focal dystonia causing abnormal and involuntary contractions of hand muscles when performing specific activities such as writing or playing a musical instrument. It can be treated with exercises, adaptive techniques, botulinum toxin injections or medications.