The Movement Disorders Clinic focuses on the evaluation and management of patients with movement disorders. Areas of particular expertise include Parkinson's disease, dystonia, spasticity, gait disorders and tremor.
The Vanderbilt Parkinson's Disease Clinic has been recognized by the National Parkinson's Disease Foundation as a Center of Excellence.
Kelly Arney, M.S.S.W.
Aaron Bowman, Ph.D.
P. David Charles, M.D.
Daniel O. Claassen, M.D., M.S.
Thomas L. Davis, M.D.
John Y. Fang, M.D.
Peter Hedera, M.D.
Heather C. Koons, M.D.
Fenna T. Phibbs, M.D., M.P.H.
David Robertson, M.D.
Christopher M. Tolleson, M.D.
Scott Wylie, Ph.D.
Dot Shearon, R.N., Study Coordinator
Michael Coffee, Administrative Assistant
Lauren M. Griffin, B.S., Research Analyst
Disorders Treated at the Movement Disorders Clinic include:
Parkinson's disease affects one million Americans. It is due to a progressive degeneration of a small area of the brain and leads to progressive disability. Symptoms include rigidity, tremor, poor balance and difficulty walking. Fortunately, there are medical and surgical treatments for Parkinson's disease. The Movement Disorders Clinic is a national leader in the area of clinical research for new medical and surgical treatments for Parkinson's disease and offers a full range of services for these disorders.
Tremor of the hands, head and voice can be related to many medical or neurological conditions and can be inherited. Essential Tremor and Parkinson's disease are common causes of tremor. Tremor can develop as a result of medications, multiple sclerosis, dystonia, stroke and head injury. The Movement Disorders Clinic is among a select group of national center of excellence for medical and surgical treatments of tremor.
Dystonia results from involuntary contractions of muscles that causes a twisting and turning movement of the limbs or head. The cause is unknown but it can be inherited, result from injury or occur spontaneously. When it affects the neck, causing the head to turn, it is called cervical dystonia or torticollis. Dystonia can affect the hands and feet and can be related to a specific task, such as writing or playing a musical instrument. Our physicians have specialized training in new treatments for all types of dystonia.
Spacticity is an involuntary spasm of muscles causing pain and spastic movement of limbs. It can result from stroke, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy or injury to the head or spinal cord. The Movement Disorders Clinic has developed The Spasticity Treatment Center which coordinates the efforts of many physicians from different areas of medicine and surgery.
The Movement Disorders Clinic specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of rare disorders characterized by involuntary movement. These include Tourette’s Syndrome, Huntington’s disease, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Multiple Systems Atrophy (Shy-Drager Syndrome), Olivopontocerebellar Atrophy, Corticobasal Ganglionic and Striatonigral Degeneration, Paroxsymal and Tardive Dyskinesias, Wilson's disease and many others.
Appointments are scheduled with a physician referral and can be made by calling
(615) 936-0060. Vanderbilt neurologists work closely with referring physicians to provide the optimum level of care to patients, and relay information back to the primary care physicians.
Prior to visiting the Movement Disorders Clinic, patients should obtain and bring the following items to their appointment:
- All X-rays, MRI and CT scans (actual films)
- A list of all present and past medications
- All medical records from the referring doctor, including results from any blood work
These items will be reviewed during the patient visit and should be available prior to the appointment. Every patient must be referred by a physician and have a primary care physician. The primary care physician will remain responsible for the patient's overall medical care. All forms for referral authorization, disability, home health care and physical therapy must be completed by your primary care physician.
The Division of Movement Disorders at Vanderbilt University Medical Center conducts several studies for the clinical investigation of neurological disease. Medical and surgical investigational trials are ongoing for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, cervical dystonia and spasticity.
Please also visit our DBS Newsletter page for more information about this surgical approach to the treatment of Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders.
For questions regarding clinical protocols call:
Dot Shearon, R.N. phone (615) 936-0219 fax (615) 936-1229
The Division of Movement Disorders encourages residents to rotate through the clinic during their training. Fellowships may also be available for physicians trained in Neurology who are interested in pursuing careers in movement disorders treatment and research. For more information on the Movement Disorders Fellowship, click here.