The UC James J. and Joan A. Gardner Family Center for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders team of specialists in neurology, neurosurgery, neuropsychology, nursing, and physical medicine and rehabilitation play an integral role in evaluating and treating patients with Parkinson’s disease and a large range of movement disorders, including those associated with tremor, dystonia, chorea, myoclonus, and gait disorders. Appointments begin with a comprehensive patient evaluation, including a thorough medical history, video observation and evaluation and physical assessment of the patient’s condition. When necessary, patients also can be admitted to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center (UCMC) for 24-hour inpatient observation and evaluation.
The Gardner Center has access to the latest resources for diagnosis and treatment of movement disorders, including state-of-the art gait assessment, autonomic testing including heart rate variability testing, genetic testing, and neuroimaging, when appropriate, with 3 Tesla MRI and DaTscan.
The center remains committed to researching new treatments in movement disorders, and our patients have access to a wide range of ongoing clinical trials in Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s disease, dystonia and other conditions.
Botulinum Toxin Clinic
The Gardner Center for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders includes a clinic for patients who receive injections of botulinum toxin to treat dystonia and spasticity, conditions that often occur with movement disorders and cause muscles to contract or spasm involuntarily. Botulinum toxin, a biological product, is injected into muscles to help relax them and reduce excessive contractions. The center has a long experience in delivering all available botulinum toxins: Botox, Dysport, Xeomin and Myobloc.
The center collaborates with otolaryngologists who specialize in vocal cord function. In the clinic patients can receive injections in the vocal cords that can improve voice and swallowing problems in dystonia and associated disorders.
Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery
In some cases, medications used to manage Parkinson’s disease symptoms begin to wear off too soon, causing frequent fluctuations in their effectiveness. In addition, medication side effects may limit the appropriate dosing of Parkinson medications. When this happens, our physicians can evaluate patients to determine whether they are suitable candidates for a surgical treatment called deep brain stimulation (DBS). This treatment involves implanting an electrode into the specific area of the brain that controls movement and then connecting it to a medical device, similar to a pacemaker, that is implanted under the skin below the collarbone.
The device delivers electrical stimulation to the precisely targeted area of the brain, typically resulting in reduced symptoms and improved function. Following implantation, the device is monitored and can be regulated according to the patient’s individual needs. After undergoing DBS, many patients experience significant improvements in dyskinesias and other symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease. This means that medication often can be reduced.
Exercise for Parkinson’s Disease
Exercise helps increase quality of life for people with Parkinson’s. An ideal exercise program for people with Parkinson’s is a “targeted” exercise program. Exercise classes for people with Parkinson’s disease are held in eight-week sessions at the Daniel Drake Center’s Wellness Center, located on the A level. These classes are specifically designed for people with Parkinson’s disease and are based on the most current research and established exercise guidelines. They include stretching, strengthening and coordination exercises and are appropriate for people with Parkinson’s disease across a range of disability levels. For more information, call (513) 418-5867. The Parkinson Support & Wellness group maintains a listing of exercise classes in the Cincinnati, Dayton, Lawrenceburg and Northern Kentucky.