The Movement Disorders and Parkinson's Program at the
UF Health Neuroscience Institute at Jacksonville provides comprehensive
treatment of Parkinson's disease and other types of movement disorders. The center
is staffed by faculty neurologists of the
University of Florida Department of Neurology fellowship-trained in movement
disorders. A full-time nurse coordinator educates patients and caregivers and assists
in patient care. Physicians, pharmacists and nurses provide patients with medication
management and education. A full-time research assistant evaluates interested patients
for clinical research studies. The Movement Disorders and Parkinson's Program provides:
Evaluation and Diagnosis
Accurate, early diagnosis allows implementation of effective treatments that positively
impact the patient's movement disorder and quality of life. Diagnostic studies include
brain imaging, specific blood tests and neurophysiological testing. Common movement
disorders diagnosed and treated include Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative
diseases, dystonias (torticollis, hemifacial spasm, blepharospasm, focal dystonia),
tremors, Huntington's Chorea, tic disorders and psychogenic movements.
The University of Florida physicians in the Movement Disorder and Parkinson's Program
perform a detailed neurologic and medical history utilizing a comprehensive review
of patient symptoms. Patient symptoms may include tremors, rigidity, loss of balance,
changes in gait, slowness of movement, abnormal and involuntary movements of the
limbs, trunk, or body, involuntary muscular contractions, and speech difficulties.
Patients are diagnosed through an in-depth evaluation that includes a complete physical
examination and detailed neurological assessment.
Medication management is performed by the physician, nurse and pharmacist team using
a specific regimen tailored for each individual patient. Patients are given verbal
and written instructions with medication flow sheets and information about the benefits
and potential side effects of each medication
Botulinum Toxin Therapy
This therapy involves an injection of the protein botulinum toxin directly into
spastic/dystonic muscles to lessen abnormal muscle tone or contraction. Diseases
that might benefit from these injections include torticollis, hemifacial spasm,
blepharospasm, dystonic tics, cerebral palsy, post stroke spasticity, multiple sclerosis,
writer's cramp and chronic migraine headache.
Cranio-Sacral Massage and Neuromuscular Therapy
Massage and neuromuscular therapy is prescribed for patients suffering from muscle
spasms and stiff and rigid muscles.
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)
Patients may receive preoperative evaluation for this procedure, which involves
placement of an electrode, followed by stimulation of a specific part of the brain
(thalamus, globus pallidus, subthalamic nucleus). Stimulation relieves tremor in
essential tremor (ET) and Parkinson's disease (PD), or rigidity, bradykinesia and
dyskinesia in Parkinson's disease. DBS may be highly effective in medically refractory
ET and PD patients.
The center can assess patients for this procedure, which involves placing a small
surgical probe in the globus pallidus of the brain in patients with advanced Parkinson's
disease to reduce tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia and dyskinesia.
Patients and caregivers receive educational materials during their first visit.
Subscriptions to newsletters such as The Parkinson 's Report are also available
through the center. A monthly lecture series on Parkinson's disease is held the
second Wednesday of each month on the UF Health Jacksonville campus. Speakers include
physicians, nurses, therapists and other health professionals. Periodic courses
and symposiums on Parkinson's disease are offered to the public and medical community.
A resource library with brochures, books and videos is open to patients and families
during the center's regular business hours.
Physical and Rehabilitative Therapies
Patients are assessed and referred for rehabilitative treatments such as physical
therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy including swallowing studies. Patients
and their care partners are also referred for psychological, psychiatric or neuropsychological
testing as part of a comprehensive approach to treatment.
More About Rehabilitation Services
Parkinson's patients and their family members receive group counseling led by licensed
therapists at a monthly support group. Counseling is provided by the nurse coordinator
on a one-on-one basis for patients who need help accepting their diagnosis, coping
with their illness and desire more education regarding their disease state and treatment
options. An early onset support group is also available.
View Support Groups »
Yoga and Tai Chi Classes
Parkinson's disease patients may participate in yoga and Tai Chi classes that aid
in relaxation, flexibility, stress reduction and improving balance. Patients attending
the weekly exercise classes also benefit through the emotional and psychological
support they receive from the other class members.
More About Tai Chi Classes »
Clinical Drug Trials
Patients of the Movement Disorder and Parkinson's Program may have the opportunity
to participate in clinical research trials to test the effectiveness of new medications
and alternative therapies for a variety of movement disorders.
View Clinical Trials
9th Floor, Tower I
580 West 8th Street
Jacksonville, FL 32209
15255 Max Leggett Parkway
Jacksonville, FL 32218