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Movement Disorders Clinic 

Movement disorders can be defined as neurologic syndromes in which there is either an excess of movement (commonly known as hyperkinesia, dyskinesia, and abnormal involuntary movement) or a lack of voluntary and automatic movements unrelated to weakness or spasticity.  These complex disorders may or may not have genetic, environmental, infectious, metabolic, nutritional, toxicological, and vascular factors contributing to their cause.  One of the most common movement disorders is Parkinson’s disease, which is a slow progressive disorder characterized by tremor, slowness of movement, and difficulty walking.  Examples of other types of movement disorders include the following:  Dystonia, Chorea, Huntington's disease, Ataxia, Tremor and Essential tremor, Myoclonus, Tics, Tourette syndrome, Restless legs syndrome, Stiff person syndrome, Gait disorders, and Spasticity. 

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are pursuing studies with an overall focus and goal of understanding the natural history of movement disorders and finding their causes.  Our natural history study is the primary study through which we screen all patients with neurological conditions to enroll in additional research protocols in the Human Motor Control Section (HMCS), Medical Neurology Branch (MNB).  No investigational treatments will be administered on this primary study and the NIH physicians will be playing a consultative role to the patient’s primary physician.  The majority of our other studies involve techeniques such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), Electroencephalography (EEG), and Magnetoencephalography (MEG), to better understand various characteristics of the brain.  A limited number of studies do involve treatment.  For example, some studies utilize techniques that examine the effectiveness of botulinum toxin as treatment for a variety of movement disorders, offering botulinum toxin on a limited basis.   Researcher also collaborate with the neurosurgery department utilizing Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for patients with specific disorders.

If you are a patient interested in treatments for movement disorders or participating in one of our research studies, please contact:

Janice Oparah, BSN, MPH
Clinical Research Nurse
Division of Intramural Research (DIR)
Medical Neurology Branch (MNB)
Building 10, Room 7D36
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Phone: 301-435-8518
Fax: 301-480-2286


Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison Office toll-free at:
TTY: 1-866-411-1010

Movement Disorders Care Providers at NIH:

 Mark Hallet   Codrin Lungu
 Mark Hallett, M.D., Co-Director,
Human Motor Control Section

Debra Ehrlich, M.D.
Co-Director, Parkinson' s Clinic &
Fellowship Director
Codrin Lungu, M.D.
Program Director,
Division of Clinical Research
              No Image Emmanuel Akano
Derek Narendra, MD
Assistant Clinical Investigator
  Sonja Scholz, M.D., PhD
Neurogenetics Branch
Emmanuel Akano, M.D.
Clinical Fellow
 No Image  No Image  No Image
Panagiotis Kassavetis, MD, Ph.D.
Clinical Fellow
Sepideh Akbari Panahi, MD
Clinical Fellow
Alexander Choi, MD
Clinical Fellow


Nurse Practitioners:

 No Image
Shashi Ravindran, CRNP

Patient Care Coordinator:

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Sonyea Cooper

Studies Actively Recruiting Patients:

93-N-0202: Diagnosis and History Study of Patients with Different Neurological Conditions (NINDS/MNB)
07-N-0190: Neurobiological Studies of Functional Movement Disorders and Non-Epileptic Seizures (NINDS/MNB)
15-N-0167: Propensity to Develop Plasticity in the Pareto-motor Network in Dystonia from the Perspective of Abnormal High Motor Processing (NINDS/MNB)
16-N-0064: Cholinergic Receptor Imaging in Dystonia (NINDS/MNB)
17-N-0031: Detailed Evaluation of the Neurophysiology of Surround Inhibition in the Human Motor Cortex (NINDS/MNB)
17-N-0126: Investigations of Pathophysiology of Dystonia and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (NINDS/MNB)
17-N-0128: Measuring the Latency Connectome in the Central Nervous System Using Neuroimaging and Neurophysiological Techniques (NINDS/MNB)
17-N-0150: Technical Development of Clinical Laboratory Studies (NINDS/MNB)
20-N-0077: Study of Volition (NINDS/MNB)
17-N-0035: Clinical and Physiological Studies of Tremor Syndromes (NINDS/MNB)
01-N-0206: Phenotype/Genotype Correlations in Movement Disorders (NINDS/MNB)
85-N-0195: Botulinum Toxin for the Treatment of Involuntary Movement Disorders (NINDS/MNB)
16-N-0064:  Cholinergic Receptor Imaging in Dystonia (NINDS/MNB)

For more information on Movement Disorders: disorders 

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