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Movement Disorders Center

Overview

The Movement Disorders Center of the Neurosciences Institute includes neurologists, neurosurgeons, and neuropsychologists who work as a team to provide customized care for you and your family. As recognized experts, Stony Brook Medicine is the destination for patients whose cases require the full spectrum of care from physical therapy to medical treatment to neurosurgery.  

Our Team

Drs. Guy Schwartz and Hanna Czarkowska and Carine Maurer are specially-trained neurologists, and Dr. Chuck Mikell is a neurosurgeon who has expertise in the performance of neurological surgery for the treatment of cases that cannot be managed effectively through medical treatment.  The neuropsychology team, led by Dr. Thomas Preston and Dr. Brian Lebowitz works closely with the neurologists and neurosurgeons. 

For neurology appointments: (631) 444-2599
For neurosurgery appointments: (631) 444-1213
For neuropsychology appointments: (631) 444-8053

Initial Consultation

The first step is to undergo an evaluation with a movement disorders neurologist. At Stony Brook, when the neurologist meets a patient for an initial evaluation, the patient undergoes a complete neurological examination.  This typically includes being asked to perform different tasks like writing, walking across the room, pouring water, drinking water and drawing spirals. By observing these seemingly simple tasks, the neurologist is able to learn key information about the patient’s movements, and can usually make a provisional diagnosis pending further tests. 

Treatments

Treatments can range from physical therapy to a range of medications and even brain surgery. We offer medical management, botulinum toxin injection, and surgical therapy to appropriate candidates. Anyone who is on medication and still suffering from bothersome symptoms of movement disorders is a potential candidate for surgery. This surgery, called Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), entails placing small wires into the brain, and stimulating them with electrical current supplied by a stimulator device. This safe and effective procedure can give appropriately selected patients increased mobility, use of their hands and independence. 

Most Common Movement Disorders

  • Parkinson’s disease, which alone affects 1.5 million Americans, and other related disorders cause the limbs to shake rhythmically (tremor) when the body is at rest, and also cause muscles to tighten and become rigid, affecting posture — all of which can make it difficult to walk and engage in daily activities.
  • Essential tremor is another disorder that can cause rhythmic shaking of a person’s hands, head, chin, or voice. It is noticed during an action when a limb is being used to perform an action (which differs from type of tremor that is greatest when the body is at rest, such as in Parkinson’s disease).
  • Cervical dystonia causes involuntary twisting or turning of the head, as well as head tremors. Other forms of dystonia can cause writer’s cramp, exaggerated blinking or involuntary jaw and mouth movements.
  • Huntington’s disease causes uncontrolled movements of the arms, legs, head, face and upper body. It can also cause a decline in thinking and reasoning skills, including memory, concentration, judgment and ability to plan and organize.

The Stony Brook Difference

We have the only Neuro-Critical Care Unit in Suffolk County, allowing the highest level of care after neurosurgery for movement disorders. Our 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a week physician extender coverage facilitates pre- and post-operative care. Our interdisciplinary approach allows us to deliver a full scope of services to you and your family. Our skilled team is committed to doing whatever it takes to provide the best possible, individualized treatment plan for our patients.  

In the News

October is Movement Disorders Awareness Month