Movement Disorders Program

The Movement Disorders Program at Winthrop is staffed with experts committed to caring for and treating people afflicted with a wide range of conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, other types of tremor, dyskinesia and dystonia, Huntington’s disease, ataxia, gait disorders, spasticity and Tourette syndrome. These experts are committed to providing relief, improving quality of life and renewing patients’ independence.

The Movement Disorders Program provides an unparalleled setting for clinical treatment, research and education with the ultimate goal of finding an effective treatment or cure for movement disorders.

Led by the Director of Movement Disorders Program, Dr. Nora Chan and the Director of Functional & Restorative Neurosurgery, Dr. Brian Snyder, we offer expert, comprehensive care for patients suffering from a variety of movement disorders attracting a large referral from the region. Our comprehensive approach employs a variety of treatments and therapy from Botox to Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) to help patients live as independently as possible.

The Program entails close teamwork by neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, neurophysiologists and neuroradiologists. Understanding that living with a movement disorder affects the entire family, and involves more than the patient’s medical and surgical needs, the team coordinates an integrated program of clinical nursing, nutrition, physical, occupational and speech therapies and social work.

The Movement Disorders Program 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.

Nora Chan, MD answers your questions about Movement Disorders as a part of the Ask The Doctor Series presented by Winthrop-University Hospital.

  • What is a movement disorder? 0:13
  • What are some common movement disorders? 0:56
  • What are the treatment options for movement disorders? 2:25
  • Does deep brain stimulation work? Is it a cure? 3:32
  • Do these treatments cure the condition? 4:36
  • How long-lasting are the effects of deep brain stimulation? 5:15

Patients benefit from:

  • Comprehensive clinical evaluation and treatment
  • An expert neurologist 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
  • On site social worker to provide psychological and social support
  • An emphasis on patient education
  • Access to the latest research findings and therapies

What are Movement Disorders

Movement disorders are neurological conditions that affect the quality, fluidity, speed and dexterity of an individual’s movement. The most familiar form of movement disorders is Parkinson’s disease. Movement disorders associated with increased motor activity (hyperkinesias) include:

  • Tremor – An involuntary muscular contraction that causes a body part to shake rhythmically.
  • Dystonia – abnormal and or painful movements or postures caused by involuntary muscle contractions.
  • Tics– Involuntary, abrupt, jerk-like movements or sudden noises, such as sniffing, throat clearing or verbal outbursts.
  • Chorea – Muscle contractions that are irregular and brief,  flowing from one muscle to the next.
  • Myoclonus – Muscle contractions that causes sudden, involuntary jerking of a muscle or group of muscles.
  • Stereotypy – purposeless movements that are repetitive resembling normal activity such as clapping, chewing and or rocking.
  • Restless Leg Syndrome – an intense desire to move the legs, often associated with uncomfortable sensation 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 abnormally functioning basal ganglia structures,  a part of the brain most responsible for the body’s motor controls.

The Movement Disorders Program is led by Dr. Nora Chan at Winthrop University Hospital. Dr. Chan has obtained her neurological training at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.  Following her training at Mount Sinai, she obtained her Movement Disorder Fellowship training at the University of California at Los Angeles under the guidance of Dr. Jeff Bronstein. She is a member of the American Academy of Neurology and the Movement Disorders Society.

Movement Disorders Team

  • Nora Chan, MD – Director of Movement Disorders Program
  • Brian Snyder, MD – Chief of Functional and Restorative Neurosurgery

For more information about Movement Disorders or to schedule an appointment, please call 516-663-4525.

Support Groups

Support groups include:

  • Dystonia
  • Art Expression For Parkinson’s Disease Patients
  • Parkinson’s Disease Caregiver Support Group
  • Parkinson’s Disease Patient Support Group
  • Huntington’s Disease Patients Support Group

Groups are free to attend, but require a reservation. For more information visit our Support Groups Page.