Even the simplest body movements, such as smiling or pointing, require an intricate process that takes communication between the central nervous system, nerves and muscles. If any of those three elements are damaged or affected, it can lead to a movement disorder. Many movement disorders are also associated with memory, thinking and behavioral issues.
The talented researchers and clinicians at the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases are in constant pursuit of novel discoveries, while performing leading-edge care for the millions of people who suffer from these neurologic conditions.
At the institute, we have a unique interdisciplinary approach to explore and treat Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, progressive supranuclear palsy, Lewy body parkinsonism, multiple system atrophy, corticobasal degeneration, Tourette syndrome, tremor, chorea, ataxia, myoclonus and other movement disorders. Faculty and researchers from various interdisciplinary specialties at UF — neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, neuropsychology, physical/occupational therapy, speech/swallow therapy, social work, nutrition, rehabilitation medicine, etc. — are aiming to improve quality of life for current patients and enhance treatment methods for future patients.
Tremors, slowing of movements or the stiffening of extremities can be indications that you have a progressive movement disorder known as Parkinson’s disease. The main victims of this condition are dopamine-producing brain cells, which slowly die and can no longer carry out their duty of controlling muscle movement and performing some body functions. As a result, the disease leads to shaking, or tremors, and trouble walking and moving in general. However, it is important to keep in mind however that 1 in 5 patients with Parkinson’s disease do not have a tremor.
University of Florida Health is proud to be one of the leading centers among the network of those distinguished as a “Parkinson’s Foundation (PF) Center of Excellence”. It has been a PF-designated continuing care center, research center and outreach center since 2003. Our institution is also home to PF’s National Medical Director and director of the world-renowned “Ask the Doctor” forum on Parkinson.org, Dr. Michael S. Okun, who has helped direct care and research across all 45 NPF centers worldwide since 2006.
The Institute focuses on Parkinson’s, dystonia and other movement disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and dementias, concussion, traumatic brain injury, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases is home to the following centers of excellence:
- Tyler’s Hope for a Dystonia Cure Center of Excellence
- Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence
- Tourette Association of America Center of Excellence
- Lewy Body Dementia Association Research Center of Excellence
- Huntington’s Disease Society of America Center of Excellence
- Cure PSP Care Center
- Tourette Association of America Headquarters for the Deep Brain Stimulation Database and Registry