The Movement Disorders Center at Baylor College of Medicine, part of the Parkinson's Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic, has long been recognized as one of the world's leading clinical and research institutions focused on the evaluation and treatment of movement disorders. Established in 1977, the Center provides an unparalleled setting for clinical treatment, research and education with the ultimate goal of finding an effective treatment or cure for movement disorders. We offer expert, comprehensive care for patients suffering from a variety of movement disorders, attracting a large referral population from around the globe. Our comprehensive approach is supported by several specialty clinics, such as the Botulinum Toxin Clinic, Tourette Syndrome Center and Childhood Movement Disorders Clinic, and Huntington's Disease Clinic, providing unparalleled expertise while facilitating patient education - a critical element of our efforts.
Movement disorders are neurological conditions that affect the speed, fluency, quality and ease of an individual's movement. A clinical example of a movement disorder characterized by abnormally decreased motor function or mobility (bradykinesia) is Parkinson's disease. Movement disorders associated with increased motor activity (hyperkinesis) include:
Tremor. A rhythmic shaking of a body part caused by involuntary muscular contraction.
Dystonia. Involuntary muscle contractions which force certain parts of the body into abnormal and sometimes painful movements or postures.
Tics. Involuntary, abrupt, jerk-like movements or sudden noises, such as sniffing, throat clearing or verbal outbursts.
Chorea. Brief, irregular muscle contractions that are not repetitive or rhythmic, but appear to flow from one muscle to the next.
Myoclonus. Sudden, involuntary jerking of a muscle or group of muscles caused by muscle contractions.
Stereotypy. Repetitive purposeless movements resembling normal activity such as chewing, rocking or clapping.
Restless legs syndrome. An intense desire to move the legs, often associated with uncomfortable sensations and motor restlessness, particularly occurring at night or at rest.
Ataxia. Incoordination of limbs resulting in clumsiness, tremors, and poor balance, often accompanied by slurring of speech and other neurological deficits.
It is believed that movement disorders develop from an abnormally functioning basal ganglia, that portion of the brain most responsible for the body's motor control.
Specialized Evaluation and Patient Care
The Movement Disorders Center excels in the diagnosis and treatment of movement disorders, emphasizing an individualized approach that helps each patient manage their symptoms and optimize their quality of life.
Patients benefit from:
- Comprehensive and multidisciplinary clinical evaluation and treatment
- An expert neurological staff specially trained in the recognition and treatment of movement disorders
- A broad spectrum of treatment options, including conventional and experimental medications, botulinum toxin injections, and neurosurgery
- Collaboration with the departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry to address the complex neurobehavioral problems associated with movement disorders
- An emphasis on patient education
- Access to the latest research findings and therapies
Internationally Acclaimed Leadership
The Movement Disorders Center is led by its founder and director Dr. Joseph Jankovic, professor of neurology at Baylor College of Medicine.
Dr. Jankovic obtained his neurological training at The Neurological Institute, Columbia University. In 1977, he joined the faculty of Baylor College of Medicine and established the Parkinson's Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic, recognized today as a "Center of Excellence" by both the National Parkinson Foundation and the Huntington's Disease Society of America for its research, care and outreach efforts.
Dr. Jankovic is assisted by a team of highly qualified physicians, post-doctoral fellows, nurses, and research and administrative coordinators, all committed to providing the most expert and compassionate care.
Past president of the Movement Disorders Society, Dr. Jankovic is internationally recognized for his substantial contributions and leadership in movement disorder research, and for sharing his knowledge and experience with clinicians and scientists from around the world to advance our collective progress.