The Movement Disorders Program at Boston Children’s Hospital provides specialty care for infants, children, and adolescents with movement disorders.
Movement disorders are neurological syndromes that present with impaired performance of voluntary movements, abnormal postures, or abnormal involuntary movements. Movement disorders may be accompanied by weakness or abnormal muscle tone. By convention, movement disorders are categorized into hyperkinetic and hypokinetic disorders.
Hyperkinetic movement disorders are characterized by abnormal, repetitive, involuntary movements. Common conditions in childhood include dystonia, chorea, myoclonus, tremor, tics, and stereotypies. Hypokinetic movement disorders are rare in children and usually present with a combination of bradykinesia and rigidity.
The neurologists and other specialists in our program are experienced in treating children with genetic and acquired movement disorders. Our team includes neurologists with special training in movement disorders, genetic counselors, physical and occupational therapists, and social workers. We work together to develop a treatment plan that meets every child’s unique needs and maximizes quality of life.
Some movement disorders are rare or even ultra-rare diseases and require sophisticated testing such as:
- genetic testing
- biochemical/metabolic testing
- in some cases, additional testing may include electroencephalograms (EEG) and electromyography (EMG) studies
We offer a multidisciplinary approach to diagnose and treat childhood-onset movement disorders. The Movement Disorders Program works closely with other programs across Boston Children’s Hospital:
- Cerebral Palsy and Spasticity Center
- Tic Disorders and Tourette Syndrome Clinic
- Neurogenetics Program
- Department of Neurosurgery
- Care for Children with Medical Complexity
- Metabolism Program
- Rosamund Stone Zander Translational Neuroscience Center
- Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Services
- Augmentative Communication Program
Specialists in the Movement Disorders Program lead several research programs and clinical trials that work synergistically with our clinical care. This includes research on genetic movement disorders, hereditary spastic paraplegia, and epilepsy-dyskinesia syndromes. Our specialists collaborate closely with clinicians and researchers across North America and internationally.
Our program provides an innovative approach to movement disorders in children with a unique combination of specialized clinical care and dedicated basic science and translational research.