Movement disorders refer to a group of neurological conditions that affect the speed and quality of your movement. They may cause increased or reduced movements; these may be voluntary or involuntary. There are different types of Falls Church movement disorders; common ones include:


Ataxia is a movement disorder that affects the brain, brainstem, or spinal cord. This disorder causes clumsiness, inaccuracy, instability, imbalance, tremor, or lack of coordination while performing voluntary movements. For people with ataxia, their movements are not smooth and may appear jerky or disjointed. Due to unsteady gait, patients fall frequently. Besides affecting coordination, this disorder can also affect speech and eye movement.


This neurological muscle disorder results from abnormal functioning of the basal ganglia – a deep part of the brain that helps control movement and coordination. These brain regions control the fluidity and speed of movement and prevent unnecessary or unwanted movement. Patients with dystonia experience involuntary muscle spasms – they may have repetitive motions, uncontrollable twisting, and abnormal positions or postures.

Huntington’s disease

Huntington’s disease is caused by the deterioration of nerve cells in the brain. It is a progressive, degenerative disease that often occurs between ages 25 and 50; the condition progresses without remission over 10 to 5 years. Jerking is a classic sign of this disorder; this involves uncontrollable movement of the face, trunk, and limbs. Huntington’s disease also causes progressive mental abilities loss, resulting in psychiatric problems. This condition is hereditary – a child with one affected parent has a 50% chance of developing this disorder.

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Multiple system atrophy

Multiple system atrophy is an uncommon progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects many brain systems. The symptoms, onset, and severity of multiple system atrophy vary from person to person. The differing symptom ranges were initially designated as three different diseases, including Shy-Drager syndrome, striatonigral degeneration, and olivopontocerebellar atrophy. However, these three are now classified under multiple system atrophy. Classis symptoms of MSA include loss of balance and coordination and a significant fall in blood pressure when standing; this usually causes lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting, or blurred vision. Other symptoms include urinary difficulties, male impotence, constipation, and speech and swallowing difficulties.

Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease develops gradually and is associated with muscle stiffness, slow movement, and imbalance. It may also cause other symptoms unrelated to movements, such as constipation, reduced sense of smell, and a decline in cognition.


This is a general term for slow movement, stiffness, tremor, or loss of balance. Parkinsonism may be due to different causes; common ones include Parkinson’s disease and certain dopamine-blocking medications. It may also be due to degenerative disorders such as progressive supranuclear palsy and multiple system atrophy. Other causes of this parkinsonism include stroke or repeated head trauma.


Spasticity is usually a result of damage to the brain portion or part of the spinal cord that controls voluntary movement. The damage may be due to multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, stroke, or cerebral palsy. It may also result from brain damage caused by severe head injury, lack of oxygen, and metabolic diseases.

If you have any questions about movement disorders, consult your healthcare provider at Integrated Neurology Services.