Types Of Movement Disorders
Most of the different types of movement disorders are caused by problems with the nervous system or the brain. One of the most common disorders is known as essential tremor. Essential tremor is a condition that causes an individual to shake uncontrollably when attempting to use the arms, hands or legs. Most often it occurs during periods where fine motor skills are required, such as holding a delicate object. The disorder can be caused by genetics and often becomes more serious over time.
Like other types of movement disorders, dystonia results from irregularities or damage to the nervous system. People who have dystonia can be identified by exaggerated motion, unintended motion of unrelated parts of the body or uncontrollable and sudden jerking of the arms, legs and head. The condition results from extra electrical impulses that are sent to the muscles. This causes the muscles to contract uncontrollably and sometimes for an extended period of time. A person with dystonia (read Living Well With Dystonia) might have pain associated with the involuntary motions.
Cerebellar ataxia is a disorder that is caused by problems with the cerebellum in the brain. The cerebellum controls muscle movements throughout the body. Individuals with ataxia are not able to fully control the muscles in the body at all times. This results in muscles suddenly relaxing. This can cause difficulty when walking, sudden loss of balance and even loss of control of the eyes, hands or mouth. These types of movement disorders are difficult to treat because they are not fully understood.
Parkinson’s disease is one of the most serious types of movement disorders. It is caused by a degenerative disease that affects a dopamine producing region of the brain (read Parkinson’s Disease: 300 Tips For Making Life Easier). An individual with Parkinson’s disease can experience uncontrollable tremors, stiffness of the extremities and general physical impairment that prevents easy motor coordination. The cause of the disease is not fully understood although some surgical procedures and drug therapies have helped to reduce symptoms in certain patients.
Tourette syndrome is a neurological condition that can affect physical movement at intermittent and seemingly random times. The primary symptom of the disorder is spasm-like motions of the arms, legs, head or muscles in the face. These motor tics can become more severe if an individual is highly stressed or anxious. It is not uncommon for a person with Tourette syndrome to have tics in waves so that certain motions are repeated until the episode subsides. These types of movement disorders usually develop during puberty, although they can also result from a traumatic brain injury.
Watch a video on Movement Disorders, with Doctor Georgeta Varga, MD: