Patient Education

What are "Movement Disorders"?

The term "movement disorders" refers to a group of nervous system (neurological) conditions that result in abnormal movements. These movements are characterized as either hypokinetic (not enough movement; slowness, stiffness) or hyperkinetic (too much movement; tremor, ataxia, tics, and other extra movements). The movement has different qualities and can be totally involuntary to the patient, or under some amount of control, or often, somewhere in between.

The page “Conditions We Treat” gives a long list of examples of both specific diseases that are considered movement disorders (Parkinson’s Disease for example), but also broad categories of movement symptoms that can be caused by many different problems. For example, ataxia is the incoordination of movement and can be caused by many many different problems like: brain tumor, stroke, multiple sclerosis, genetic condition, and vitamin deficiency. Some movement disorders are very common, like Parkinson’s disease, while other genetic conditions are very rare.

How are Movement Disorders Treated?

More Information on Specific Disorders: if you have been diagnosed with a specific disorder, it is in your best interest to learn about it and how to best manage it. While we of course are the specialists and it is our job to guide your management and treatment, time in the clinic is short and we know you have many good questions and concerns. Below are some good, trustworthy resources to learn about your condition, find others who have similar problems, engage with support groups, and contribute to research.


Clinical Research:

  • ClinicalTrials.Gov: If you are interested in volunteering for clinical research, the U.S. National Library of Medicine keeps a useful database of many clinical trials that are active or upcoming in the US and abroad.
  • UCSF Clinical Trials Website:

Parkinson’s Disease:



Parkinson’s Disease Symposium 2023

We are very happy to provide links to our 2023 PD Patient and Caregiver Symposium.  Please note that you must enter password to access the videos:

UCSF Movement Disorders and Neuromodulation Center: Parkinson’s Disease Symposium Part 1:

UCSF Movement Disorders and Neuromodulation Center: Parkinson’s Disease Symposium Part 2:

Password: Movement23