A movement disorder is a condition that arises in the brain that causes a child to move too much or too little. It can result in a repetitive extra movement or sound, like a motor or vocal tic, or involve a shaking tremor, stiffened posture of the muscles, or difficulties with balance and coordination. At the University of Michigan we have a dedicated clinic to provide your child with an accurate diagnosis and treatment, to ensure the best quality of life as possible.
Movement disorders can arise from brain injury, medication, infection, autoimmune disease or they can be inherited. We treat the full spectrum of movement disorders, including:
- Tourette syndrome and tics – involuntary, rapid and repetitive stereotyped movements and sounds (including vocal tics)
- Tremor – an involuntary, repetitive shaking movement of the body
- Dystonia – a group of disorders that cause the body muscles to twist into abnormal postures
- Ataxia – a static or progressive disorder that involves unsteady posture, impaired coordination, often with poor balance and falling
- Restless legs syndrome – a strong urge to move the legs, often during the onset of sleep
- Myoclonus – involuntary rapid jerking of muscles or muscle groups
- Juvenile Huntington disease – degenerative disorder that includes involuntary muscle movements
With specialists available at our health center in neurology, neurosurgery, neuroradiology and neuropsychology, together with our colleagues in speech-language pathology and physical medicine and rehabilitation, our approach to movement disorders is comprehensive.
We perform a thorough evaluation, collect a complete medical and family history and create an individualized treatment plan that meets the needs of both the child and the family. Your child may be videotaped during the evaluation. Diagnostic testing may also be ordered, including a brain MRI, gait evaluation, EEG (to test the electrical activity of the brain), genetic testing, or an ophthalmology evaluation.
Depending on the age of the child, the type of movement disorder and the severity, treatment can include medication, behavioral or habit reversal therapy, Botox injections and/or surgery.
We will guide you to community educational and support programs for children with movement disorders. Our social worker is also available to help your child with school issues and other concerns.