A World Leader in Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration
The University of Florida Health Center for Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration is founded on the philosophy that integrated, interdisciplinary care is the most effective approach for patients with movement disorders and disorders involving a group of circuits in the brain called the basal ganglia. The Center delivers motor, cognitive and behavioral diagnoses as well as various treatments all in one centralized location. Care is coordinated and provided by leading specialists from many advanced medical and surgical services. The center lives on a single floor (4th floor of the Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute on 34th street across the street from the UF Hilton) and has over 10,000 square feet of dedicated interdisciplinary space. All specialists live together in an avant-garde side by side arrangement– with clinical services, an automatic gait and balance machine, rehab services, a MRI, a swallow suite, laboratory space, a database, a tele-medicine room, and dedicated clinical trials space. The space and architecture plan are unique, and everything about the center is patient-centric all the way down to the art on the walls–all contributed by actual UF patients. Patients can stay the night at the hotel, walk across the street, see multiple specialists in a single day, check out all the clinical trials, and still have time to cross 34th street and enjoy the world famous UF butterfly rainforest. The ribbon cutting for the new patient-centered experience occurred on April 18, 2011, and the first patient and caregiver seen in the center were former Attorney General Janet Reno and her sister Maggy Hurchalla. See the video of their visit below.
The Center’s Beginning
Built on the expertise of University of Florida faculty and researchers from 17 different specialty and sub-specialty areas, the Center has earned a reputation for excellence and it has become an international destination for patient care, research and teaching in movement disorders and neurorestoration. At UF, patients have access to the latest clinical/translational research studies, as well as the opportunity to contribute to future research. Since its creation less than a decade ago, the Center has treated more than 10,000 patients the majority of whom continue to be followed in one of the largest databases of movement disorders in the world (UF-INFORM).
What makes the UF Center for Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration unique?
The international prominence of the Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration is reflected by the multiple Centers of Excellence. These include a National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence, Tyler’s Hope Center for a Dystonia Cure, and the NIH- designated headquarters of the nationwide Clinical Research Consortium for Spinocerebellar Ataxias. The University of Florida Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration (UFCMDNR) was established in July 2002, to bring together UF doctors and researchers with special expertise in Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. The mission of the center is “To provide the highest level of medical and surgical care to patients with Parkinson’s disease, tremor, dystonia and other movement disorders. To perform research that will lead to better treatments, and ultimately cures for Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.”
The UFCMDNR includes clinicians and researchers from the fields of neurology, neurosurgery, neuroscience, neuropsychology, speech and communication disorders, physical therapy/rehabilitation, psychiatry, neuropathology, and computer science. The co-directors of the UFCMDNR are Michael S. Okun, M.D. (Neurology) and Kelly D. Foote, M.D. (Neurosurgery). Irene Malaty, M.D. directs our National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence and the Tourette syndrome interdisciplinary clinic. Nick McFarland, M.D., Ph.D. and Christopher Hass, Ph.D. direct the PSP and atypical parkinsonism clinic.
The Interdisciplinary Team of Movement Disorders Experts at the University of Florida
In recent years, neurosurgical procedures for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia, OCD, Tourette and other movement/neuropsychiatric disorders have become important and exciting areas for both patient care and research. UF has been a pioneer in these operations and a leader in DBS for many disorders including OCD, Tourette, and multiple sclerosis tremor. Appropriately selected patients may benefit from intervention with deep brain stimulation therapy (DBS), or ablative procedures such as pallidotomy, subthalamotomy, or thalamotomy. The Center has a particular expertise in the surgical treatment of movement disorders offering all currently available procedures. An interdisciplinary staff performs care and research directed at improving the delivery and efficacy of these novel surgical treatments. The operating room at the University of Florida is equipped with the finest instruments available including microelectrode recording, physiology, and imaging capabilities. Many of the instruments used have been invented or refined by the UF team. The team at UF is one of the largest interdisciplinary teams offering advantages to patients for better selection, faster service, improved targeting, refined microelectrode mapping, and a full-time dedicated DBS programming nurse and staff. UF’s program is supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Parkinson Foundation, and Tyler’s Hope for a Dystonia Cure. Over the last decade UF has led or has been a participating center in over half a dozen major NIH DBS trials.
Success stories about Deep Brain Stimulation at UF
In addition to the world class surgical services, UF has a Clinical Trials Center offering patients the latest in all new drug, botulinum toxin, behavioral therapies, and device therapies. The clinical trials program offers neuroprotective strategies in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health. For more information about the surgical or medical treatment of movement disorders or to refer a patient, call the University of Florida Consultation Center at 352-294-5400. Driving from Georgia and Florida is quite reasonable and the University of Florida Hilton Hotel is right across the street from our Center if you need to stay. If you are a new patient we will walk you through the process of getting an appointment. If you have Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, parkinsonism, PSP, ataxia, Tourette, or another movement disorder, we would be happy to see you and help any way we can.