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Movement Disorder Surgery

The UF Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration brings together University of Florida neurosurgeons, neurologists and researchers with special expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson's disease, tremor, dystonia and other movement disorders. 

The Center's interdisciplinary team also includes clinicians and researchers from neuroscience, neuropsychology, speech and communicative disorders, physical therapy/rehabilitation, psychiatry and neuropathology.

The co-directors of the UF Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration are Michael S. Okun, M.D. (neurology) and Kelly D. Foote, M.D. (neurosurgery). Dr. Okun and Dr. Foote have specialized training in the surgical treatment or Parkinson's disease, and Dr. Fernandez in the medical treatment of Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders.

In recent years, neurosurgical procedures for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, dystonia and other movement disorders have become important and exciting areas for both patient care and research.

Since the Center was founded, they have performed more than 400 deep brain stimulation procedures, and the number is increasing every year. The Center features one of the most technologically advanced operating facilities for the surgical treatment of movement disorders.

 The UF Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration is a world leader in the use of deep brain stimulation implants for treating movement disorders, performing more deep brain stimulation procedures annually than any other medical facility in Florida.

The program is supported by the National Institutes of Health. Deep brain stimulation is currently FDA-approved for use in treating Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, dystonia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. In addition, the UF team is investigating novel applications for this technique, including treatment of Tourette's syndrome, non-medication-responsive gait disorders and depression.

The UF Health Shands Hospital operating suite for these procedures is equipped with the finest instruments available, including microelectrode recording, physiology and imaging capabilities for improved targeting and refined microelectrode mapping. The UF neurosurgical team uses 3-D stereotactic mapping imaging protocols to target specific areas of the brain.

In addition to deep brain stimulation, the UF team also performs ablative procedures, including pallidotomy and thalamotomy procedures on appropriately selected patients.

The Center receives funding for research from the National Institutes of Health, National Parkinson's Foundation, Parkinson's Alliance, Michael J. Fox Foundation, Medtronics and others.

Current research is underway in the following areas:

  • Deep Brain Stimulation microelectrode recording
  • GDNF, viral vectors and genetics
  • Stem cell research
  • Brain bank