Movement Disorders Center

The Movement Disorders Center, part of the Cushing Neuroscience Institute at New York’s North Shore-LIJ Health System, improves lives by providing treatments for a wide range of neurological movement disorders and diseases by pushing the frontiers of science in the clinical treatment of:

  • Parkinson’s disease – is a movement disorder resulting from the loss of brain cells that produce dopamine.
  • Atypical Parkinsonian syndromes – is a movement disorder that consists of many relatively uncommon disorders that may have symptoms that overlap with the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Dystonia – is a movement disorder in which sustained muscle contractions cause twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal postures.
  • Essential tremor – is the most common movement disorder and primarily affects the hands, but can also affect arms, feet, legs, trunck and vocal cords. 
  • Tremor – is a movement disorder characterized by rhythmic, involuntary muscular contraction of a part of the body and is mostly in the hands.
  • Tourette’s syndrome – is a neurological movement disorder characterized by repetitive, stereotyped, semi-involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics.
  • Hemifacial spasm – is a neuromuscular movement disorder characterized by frequent involuntary contractions of the muscles on one side of the face.
  • Gait disorders – are characterized by irregularities in the way a person walks.
  • Ataxia – is a group of neurological disorders that affects balance, coordination, and speech.
  • Huntington’s disease – is a genetic disease that causes degeneration of neurons (brain cells) which, in turn, leads to uncontrolled movement disorders, loss of intellectual faculties and emotional disturbances.

Movement disorders are neurological conditions that can result in spasticity, rigidity, tremor, involuntary movement and ataxia (a group of neurological disorders that affect balance, coordination, and speech). At the Cushing Neuroscience Institute, a highly skilled team of neurological movement disorder specialists is dedicated to delivering knowledgeable, thorough and considerate care by providing excellence in diagnosis and treatment.

Neuropsychology Program
The neuropsychology program at the Cushing Neuroscience Institute provides assessments and inpatient consultations to children and adults with acquired or developmental and movement disorders.

A neuropsychological evaluation is performed to help understand how the different areas and systems of the brain are working. Examinations are usually recommended when there are symptoms or complaints involving memory or other areas of thinking. Common among adult patients are progressive cognitive changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis or following an acute event such as traumatic brain injury or stroke.

Pediatric clients are often referred for learning difficulties due to developmental disorders such as learning disability, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism.

A neuropsychological evaluation typically consists of an interview and formal examination. During the interview, information that is important for the neuropsychologist to consider will be reviewed. The assessment involves paper-and-pencil tests, computerized tests and answering questions. An interview is typically held at the conclusion of the assessment and a written report is provided to the referring doctor.

A typical neuropsychological evaluation can involve assessment of the following:

  • General intellect
  • Higher level executive abilities (e.g., sequencing, reasoning, problem solving)
  • Attention and concentration
  • Learning and memory
  • Language
  • Visual-spatial abilities (e.g., perception)
  • Motor and sensory abilities
  • Academic skills
  • Mood and personality

The evaluation can be used to understand a patient’s situation in a number of ways:

  • Identification of cognitive difficulties — the examination can be utilized to identify weaknesses in specific areas of cognition. It is very sensitive to mild memory and thinking problems that might not be obvious in other ways.
  • Differential diagnosis — different illnesses result in different patterns of strength and weakness. Therefore, the examination can also be used to help differentiate among illnesses. This is important since appropriate treatment depends on accurate diagnosis.
  • Establishment of a baseline — sometimes the examination is used to establish a baseline or to document a person’s skills at the onset or before a cognitive problem arises. This way, later change can be measured very objectively.
  • Documentation of change — following the establishment of a baseline, successive examination can be utilized to document change over the progression of a disorder, as well as the effects of surgical, medical and behavioral treatments on the patient’s neurocognitive status.
  • Treatment planning — the examination can be used to identify target problems to plan treatments that use a patient’s cognitive strengths to compensate for weaknesses.

Neuroscience Research Center
Research at the Susan and Leonard Feinstein Center for Neurosciences is lead by David Eidelberg, MD, and is focused on many aspects of movement disorders, from making improvements in diagnosis to understanding the underlying causes of the diseases and assessing emerging therapies. There is an emphasis on clinical trials, including those targeting Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and other movement disorders.

The Laboratory of Experimental Therapeutics for Movement Disorders is led by Andrew Feigin, MD and is focused on the development of new therapies for Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. 

Other areas of research include the study of how novel therapies for movement disorders can improve brain function in individual patients, utilizing the latest imaging techniques. This unique knowledge has contributed to a better understanding of the underlying causes of these disorders and has been instrumental in testing new options. 

Make an appointment at the Movement Disorders Center:
Cushing Neuroscience Institute’s Movement Disorders Center makes it easy for you to take the first steps in ensuring the best neurological and neurosurgical care for yourself or your family. Simply email us at or call us at (516) 325-7050 or 844-56Neuro (844-566-3876). You may also fill out our Request an Appointment form.