Movement & Gait Disorders Clinic
Mount Auburn Hospital’s Movement & Gait Disorder Clinic includes a multidisciplinary care team that understands the challenges people with movement disorders face. Our neurologists use the latest diagnostic and neuroimaging techniques to evaluate and identify individual disorders and their cause. We work with you and your family to develop an educational care plan. We offer the following types of treatment to minimize symptoms and provide the greatest quality of life.
- Physical Therapy
- Speech Therapy
- Neuropsychology Evaluation
Priya Shastri, MD
Dr. Shastri is a board-certified staff neurologist in the Division of Neurology at Mount Auburn Hospital. After graduating Summa Cum Laude from Boston College, where she studied psychology and chemistry, she attended medical school at the State University of New York at Buffalo. She then completed her internship in Internal Medicine at Caritas St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, and her residency in Adult Neurology at Tufts Medical Center. Following the completion of her residency, Dr. Shastri pursued additional training and completed a fellowship in Movement Disorders at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. Dr. Shastri is a member of both the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Neurology. Her clinical interests include the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and its associated tremors, and the use of botulinum toxin for the treatment of headaches.
Katherine Wang, MD
Dr. Katherine K. Wang, Clinical Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School, specializes in neurology at Mount Auburn Hospital with subspecialties in neuromuscular diseases, electromyography (EMG), and Botox injection. As a practicing physician for over 25 years, Dr. Wang has a particular clinical interest in Botox treatments of neurological disorders.
Edward Wolpow, MD
Edward Wolpow, MD
Dr. Edward Wolpow, Director of the Electromyography (EMG) Lab, has been a valued neurologist seeing patients at Mount Auburn Hospital since 1977. His clinical interests include epilepsy, electroencephalography (EEG), neuromuscular diseases, and stroke. He has lectured in clinical neurology at institutions including Harvard Medical school, MIT, and Boston University. Dr. Wolpow has taught the Clinical Neurology course in the Physician Assistant program at Northeastern University for more than 20 years, and has twice won the excellence in Teaching Award at Mount Auburn Hospital. He is past president of the National Puzzlers League.
Our neurology specialists also work with experts in:
- Neuroimaging/Neuroradiology/Nuclear Medicine
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Speech therapy
About Movement & Gait Disorders
Movement Disorders are neurologic conditions characterized by abnormal voluntary or involuntary movements and may be the results of neurodegenerative, muscular, genetic, or environmental factors. Diagnosing the movement disorder requires a thorough physical exam, neurologic exam, and medical/neurologic history. Diagnosis may need the supporting evidence of further studies such as special blood tests, Head CT, MRI brain, or DaT scan.
Types of Movement Disorders
Movement disorders are generally divided into those that result in too much movement (hyperkinetic movement disorders, or dyskinesias) and those that result in slowness or too little movement (hypokinetic movement disorders or bradykinesias). A few of the known movement disorders are described here.
Restless Legs Syndrome is described as an overwhelming urge to move legs usually associated with unpleasant sensations. The urge to move legs is worse at rest and at night and relieved with movement. Iron deficiency has been associated with increased severity of restless legs and iron levels should be evaluated in all patients with suspects restless legs syndrome. Restless Legs Syndrome is a treatable condition that generally responds well to pharmacologic therapy.
Parkinson's Disease is a neurodegenerative disease that affects your body's ability to control movement. About 1 million people in the US have been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and most people with PD begin to notice symptoms when they are 60 years old or older. Parkinson's Disease affects motor and non motor functions. Motor symptoms include resting tremor, slowness of movement (bradykinesia), rigid muscles, and gait difficulties. Non motor symptoms include sleep disturbance, loss of smell, low blood pressure upon standing, constipation, fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease are due to decreased dopamine production in the brain. Medication therapy is designed to increase and/or replace dopamine production in the brain.
Dystonia is characterized by involuntary muscle contraction that may result in slow repetitive movements or contorsions of body or posture. Dystonia can affect muscles of the face, arm, trunk, or legs. Sustained muscle contraction can be quite painful at times. Dystonia can occur in one muscle or in multiple muscle groups. Types of dystonia include blepharospasm (abnormal eye blinking), hemifacial spasm, cervical dystonia, task specific dystonia (writer's cramp), focal dystonia (one part of body), and multifocal dystonia (two or more parts of body). There is no cure for dystonia, but certain medications and treatments have been found to lessen symptoms. Botulinum toxin can be injected directly into affected muscles to help relax muscles and reduce involuntary contractions and contorsions.
Tics are repeated, intermittent movements that are almost always briefly suppressable and are usually associated with an urge to have the movement and a relief after the movement is completed. Tics manifest as sudden, brief, intermittent movements (motor tics) or utterances (vocal tics). Persistent motor and vocal tics are features of Tourette's syndrome.
Tremor is defined as a rhythmic movement of a body part with consistent frequency and variable amplitude. Essential tremor causes a postural and action tremor affecting hands, head, and/or voice. ET affects 5% of the worldwide population and symptoms often begin in middle age. Family history of ET is present in 30-70% of cases. Parkinson's Disease is associated with a rest tremor. This tremor is present in the affected body part when at rest and often dampens or disappears during voluntary activity. Treatment of the tremor includes medications to decrease symptoms, physical therapy to improve muscle control, and botulinum toxin to relax muscles to reduce movement.
Movement Disorders We Treat
- Essential Tremor
- Fragile X Syndrome
- Functional Movement Disorders
- Gait Disorders
- Huntington's Disease
- Parkinson's Disease
- Restless Legs Syndrome
Dystonia Medical Research Foundation
National Ataxia Foundation
Parkinson’s Disease Foundation
Tourette Association of America
International Tremors Foundation