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Doctor of Physical Therapy Kelly Grier explains the Upstate Rehabilitation Movement Disorders Program

Parkinson's Disease & Movement Disorders Program

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What are the effects of Parkinson's Disease and other Movement Disorders?

Movement disorders include a group of neurological conditions that effects our ability to move our bodies efficiently. This can cause:  

  • increased movement
  • decreased or slow movement


Common Types of Movement Disorders Include:

  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Parkinsonism
  • Atypical Parkinsonism such as Multiple Systems Atrophy, Corticobasal Ganglionic Degeneration and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy
  • Secondary Parkinson’s Disease
  • Ataxia
  • Tremor
  • Functional Movement Disorder
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Dystonia
  • Wilson’s Disease
  • Chorea

Why is rehabilitation important?

Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Speech Therapists can help to manage and improve the movement disorder symptoms and improve functional mobility, independence, safety, and quality of life throughout the course of the disease.

Acute Movement Disorder Rehabilitation:

Our physicians, therapists and case managers begin working with patients throughout University Hospital as soon as requested. Patients are seen in their rooms or brought to our rehabilitation gym when hospitalized. Treatment goals include patient and family education, identifying problems in everyday functioning that might affect the patient's ability to care for them, and preparing for discharge.

Inpatient Movement Disorder Rehabilitation

Comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation is offered on the 2nd floor of University Hospital. This service is for anyone who requires intensive rehabilitation after illness or injury for which they were hospitalized, and who still have significant medical concerns requiring hospital-based treatment. Patients are evaluated for admission. If they qualify for services, they can be brought to the inpatient rehabilitation unit when a bed is available and receive care from experts in their field with specialized equipment. Intensive multi-disciplinary services will be provided on an individualized basis. Individualized treatment plans and discharge plans are developed for each patient.

Outpatient Movement Disorder Rehabilitation

The outpatient neurological department offers intensive physical, occupational, and speech therapy to those individuals with neurological conditions using the highest level of clinical care with advanced technology.


Treatments and techniques include:

  • Mobility retraining including ambulation, transfers, and community navigation.
  • Activities of daily living to increase independence for self-care, home, and community tasks
  • Independent living skills with a focus on school and work transitions
  • Speech/language retraining
  • Feeding and swallowing
  • Cognitive retraining
  • Visual retraining
  • Physical skills facilitation to improve strength, range of motion, endurance, and coordination
  • Equipment assessments (Including U-Step Walker, NexStride Device, etc…)
  • Driving Assessments
  • Lee Silverman Voice Training BIG (LSVT BIG® ) Protocol, which is an evidence-based treatment protocol shown to improve gait speed, step length, bed mobility, balance, and function with activities of daily living in people with Parkinson's Disease.
  • Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery (PWR!) Moves therapists are specialized physical therapists who implement comprehensive Parkinson’s disease-specific functional skill training interventions with the goal of putting off functional decline across the disease severity. This therapy targets multiple motor and non-motor symptoms. 
  • The Lokomat® is a robotic driving walking system that guides a person’s legs on the treadmill.
  • The Andago®which is a body weight support system that is used for over-ground walking training.  It has mobile robotic technology that senses and actively follows a person’s movement. 
  • NeuroCom Basic Balance Master and InVision which is a computer program that assesses your balance and vision.
  • The Dynavision D2 which is an interactive light board that uses sixty-four 3D targets to train a broad range of skills. Use of the device may improve attention to peripheral vision, reaction time, hand-eye coordination, balance, gross motor skills, and functional mobility. It is also used to work on thinking skills such as memory, multitasking, and processing speed.

How does the Regional Rehabilitation Center treat this disease/condition/population?

Our team of physical, occupational, and speech therapist use the best available evidence to design a treatment program based on the individual’s goals, medical condition, and disease stage.  This team of specialists will spend time educating you about your movement disorder being sure to answer questions throughout the course of the disease and creating a personalized program based on your needs. 

Helpful Links:

                              A physician’s referral is required in order to receive therapy services. 

                                              To contact the Regional Rehabilitation Center:

                                                                  Phone: 315-464-6543

                                                                     Fax: 315-464-4753