Movement Disorders

The Movement Disorders Division is directed by J. Timothy Greenamyre, MD, PhD and includes Sarah Berman, MD, PhD, Ed Burton, MD, DPhil, FRCP, Valerie Suski, DO, Houman Homayoun, MD, Franca Cambi, MD, PhD, Jessica Kappel, PA-C and Lana Chahine, MD.

The Movement Disorders Division has three objectives: 

  1. Provide subspecialty care for those affected by Parkinson disease and other movement disorders (see below).  
  2. Provide education in movement disorders for medical students, graduate students, residents, and fellows.
  3. Carry out research in basic and clinical aspects of movement disorders.

The Division currently provides subspecialty care to thousands of patients with movement disorders from the tri-state area and beyond, and these numbers are growing rapidly. In addition to neurologists, the Comprehensive Movement Disorders Clinic includes participation by faculty and staff from the Departments of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Otolaryngology, Psychiatry and Neurological Surgery. 

Diseases and conditions, we treat include:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Tremor
  • Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP)
  • Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)
  • Corticobasal Degeneration
  • Dystonia
  • Ataxia
  • Gait Disorders
  • Stiff-Person Syndrome
  • Tic Disorders
  • Restless Legs

In addition to medical management of these disorders, we provide: 

  1. Deep Brain Stimulation as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease, Essential Tremor and Dystonia. 
  2. Botulinum Toxin injections for dystonia and related conditions. 
  3. Duopa as a treatment for advanced Parkinson’s patients with motor fluctuations

Other services we provide include:

  • Specialized clinics for:
    • Huntington's disease
    • Progressive Supranuclear Palsy
    • Diffuse Lewy Body disease
  • Social workers
  • Balance and vestibular therapy
  • Voice therapy
  • Speech & swallowing specialists
  • Specialized physical therapists
  • Genetic counseling

Movement Disorders faculty provide bedside and didactic teaching to medical students, residents and fellows. There is a regular lecture series for residents, and the Movement Disorders lecture series for first-year medical students has been revised and updated. Interesting cases (including live patient presentations), as well as select topics are presented at the monthly Movement Disorders Grand Rounds series. 

We offer a 2-year Movement Disorders Fellowship for outstanding applicants who have completed an accredited Neurology residency program. Fellowship training includes both clinical and research aspects, tailored to the fellow’s interests, resulting in well-rounded training.

We also offer education to the lay public. Our faculty frequently speak at support group meetings, and we hold a popular and well-attended Annual Parkinson's Disease Patient and Caregiver Symposium. 

Many individuals seen in the clinic also volunteer to participate in research studies conducted at our center. These include several clinical trials of new treatments. We are particularly excited about trials of potentially “disease-modifying” therapies that may slow or halt progression of disease. We are a credentialed clinical research site for both the Parkinson Study Group (PSG) and the Huntington Study Group (HSG). We keep a continually updated registry list of individuals interested in participating in research studies so that we may contact them as appropriate trials begin. 

We are also recognized nationally and internationally for our basic laboratory research into the causes and new treatments of the diseases we treated. Most of this laboratory research takes place under the auspices of the Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases (PIND) 

National Recognition of the Movement Disorders Division: