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Movement Disorders

We diagnose and treat movement disorders, relying on research to improve treatment

The Movement Disorder Unit at SJD Barcelona Children’s Hospital is a state leader in the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of this group of paediatric disorders. We work to improve healthcare by providing a fast diagnosis, clinical and therapeutic evaluations adapted to each patient and complex therapies.

We work closely with Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, together having formed the Integrated Movement Disorder Unit, which ensures continuity in our patients’ medical care during adulthood.

This Unit, linked to the Neurology Department, has CSUR accreditation (Reference Centres, Services and Units) from the Spanish Ministry of Health, recognising it as a national reference centre for these disorders, and it is also part of the ERN-RND (European Reference Network for Rare Neurological Diseases). 

The care we provide to patients and their families requires the coordination of specialists in the areas of Psychiatry, Psychology, Neurosurgery, Physiotherapy, Rehabilitation, Traumatology and Nutrition, among others.

Diagnosing movement disorders in children and adolescents often requires several medical examinations and additional tests, including imaging studies (brain MRI), biochemical and genetic studies. To do this, our unit is supported by the Genetic, Clinical Biochemistry and Neuroradiology departments. We also collaborate with the Paediatric Institute for Rare Diseases (IPER), which provides families with genetic advice.

What are movement disorders?

These are disorders that can manifest themselves in childhood and are due to several complex causes. Generally speaking, abnormal movements are commonly caused by a dysfunction of the basal ganglia, central nervous system structures responsible for coordinating movement. Any pathology that results in a change in these neuronal structures causes abnormal movements such as tics, tremors, dystonia, chorea, myoclonia and Parkinsonism.

Depending on each case, the pathologies that cause the movement disorder may be due to errors of metabolism, autoimmune processes, neurodegenerative and neurogenetic diseases, among others.

Early detection and treatment can improve the patients’ quality of life, especially in the case of younger patients. Currently, there is no curative treatment for many of these disorders, however there are therapies that can reduce or relieve the symptoms. This is the case with neuromodulation, also known as deep brain stimulation or pallidal stimulation, a functional neurosurgery technique that we use to treat some disorders such as Parkinson’s, myoclonia and the main dystonias.

Patients treated per year

An average of
700
patients visit us each year
Among which
200
are dystonia cases
A year
200
cases of tics and Tourette’s syndrome
"Myoclonus-dystonia used to limit all my activities, but now I can imagine a better future".
Aina Padilla, Movement Disorders Unit patient
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