Recent Articles

Pioneering researchers at UVA Health are testing whether focused sound waves can help people overcome cocaine addiction, a growing problem across the nation.

Source: AZO Network
August 22, 2023

Researchers compared the shared genetic risk and biological foundations of neurological and mental illnesses.

Source: AZO Network
August 1, 2023

Many neurological conditions that involve involuntary muscle contractions have long been considered as diseases of the brain.

Source: AZO Network
June 6, 2023

Synucleinopathies are a group of neurodegenerative diseases caused by the abnormal accumulation α-synuclein, a protein normally found in the brain and neurons. Incorrect folding of α-synuclein leads to formation of 'seeds', which attract more α-synuclein proteins to form larger clumps.

Source: AZO Network
May 29, 2023

Research highlights the association between gout and neurodegenerative diseases, revealing that gout patients exhibit smaller brain volumes, increased brain iron markers, and a higher incidence of conditions such as dementia, Parkinson's disease, and essential tremor, particularly within the first three years after diagnosis.

Source: AZO Network
May 22, 2023

The findings of a major international trial to test a high-tech, scalpel-free approach to treating movement problems caused by Parkinson’s disease have been published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

Source: AZO Network
May 13, 2023

Movement Disorders
Foundation of Arizona

We help people with movement disorders live better lives through collaborative partnerships with those who offer patient-focused education, conduct innovative research or provide unique care services.

educational events
& webinars
participants served

Audience Testimonials

Mar 11, 2022
"Thank you for such in-depth descriptions & explanations of the topics. I probably won’t remember the difficult names of meds mentioned, but I will remember that there are meds for Hallucinations, & other side effects. It was very informative. Blessings"
Mar 11, 2022
"Fantastic learning experience"
Mar 11, 2022
"I would like to share this talk with my sister who was diagnosed with PD"
Mar 11, 2022
"The breakout rooms are helpful. The sponsor videos were a bit choppy. The webinar was very enjoyable and educational. Kudos to the MDFA."
Nov 19, 2021
"5 stars for both speakers! Information relevant to me and my desire to become more well-informed regarding disease."
Nov 19, 2021
"This was really a very very good webinar. Kudos to the organizers. The breakout rooms were much better this time. I am looking forward to the next webinar."
Nov 19, 2021
"Outstanding webinar. The Q & A portion is really informative and engaging."
Aug 27, 2021
"The webinars are very insightful. Thank you for making it available."
Aug 27, 2021
"Very good seminar. Learned a lot. Looking forward to the next one."
Aug 27, 2021
"It was fantastic and I was very grateful. The two doctors were really really wonderful"
Aug 27, 2021
"Very interesting subject regarding gastrointestinal symptoms. Very good information and was easy to understand."
* It is MDFA's confidentiality policy to protect the identity of its patients

Event Calendar

Dec 15

Educational Webinar
Deep Brain Stimulation: Patient Educational Program

Register for event
Dec 9

Educational Webinar
Stem Cell and Gene Therapy for Parkinson's: How Close are We to a Cure?

Register for event
Oct 27

Educational Webinar
Deep Brain Stimulation: Patient Educational Program

View event
Sep 23

Educational Webinar
Detecting and Targeting Alpha Synuclein: Are We on a Path Toward a Cure for Parkinson's?

Research has shown that the abnormal protein that accumulates in the cells in Parkinson’s Disease and leads to degeneration of cells is phosphorylated alpha synuclein. Dr. Padma Mahant will be discussing the different ways that alpha synuclein can be detected in different tissues, how these tests can be used to differentiate Parkinson’s disease from other parkinsonian syndromes, and the clinical trials that have focused on removing the pathological alpha synuclein from the brain and tissues. She will also discuss if removal of the alpha synuclein can potentially be the avenue of cure for Parkinson’s.

View event

Watch our Previous Webinars

Detecting and Targeting Alpha Synuclein: Are We on a Path Toward a Cure for Parkinson's?
Sep 23, 2023

Research has shown that the abnormal protein that accumulates in the cells in Parkinson’s Disease and leads to degeneration of cells is phosphorylated alpha synuclein. Dr. Padma Mahant will be discussing the different ways that alpha synuclein can be detected in different tissues, how these tests can be used to differentiate Parkinson’s disease from other parkinsonian syndromes.

The Vibrating Glove: An Exciting Alternative For Parkinson's
Jun 10, 2023

“The Vibrating Glove Can Control Parkinson’s Symptoms.” This session will discuss the exciting new vibrating glove that he has developed to alleviate tremor, stiffness, abnormal walking, slow body movement and balance problems associated with Parkinson’s Disease and other movement disorders. Hear from Dr. Tass on the vibrating glove and how it can improve your symptoms and quality of life.

Tremor: Drug Options, Wearable Devices, DBS & Focused Ultrasound
Mar 4, 2023

The seminar will discuss the different causes of tremor, as well as pharmacologic, nonpharmacologic and surgical options for tremor. The seminar will also compare and contrast focused ultrasound versus deep brain stimulation for management of tremors not sufficiently controlled with medications.


The mission of the Movement Disorders Foundation of Arizona is to enrich the lives of those with movement disorders. MDFA’s vision is supporting those with movement disorders using research, education and community.

COVID-19 related to Parkinson's

Living with Parkinson’s does not put you at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, but it does make it harder for you to recover if you contract it. Also, we know that without the vaccine, if you are hospitalized and you have Parkinson’s disease, there is an elevated risk of complications and potentially death.

Parkinsonism and other Parkinsonian Syndromes

Parkinsonism is any condition that causes a combination of the movement abnormalities seen in Parkinson's disease — such as tremor, slow movement, impaired speech or muscle stiffness — especially resulting from the loss of dopamine-containing nerve cells (neurons).

Essential Tremors

Essential tremor is a nervous system (neurological) disorder that causes involuntary and rhythmic shaking. It can affect almost any part of your body, but the trembling occurs most often in your hands — especially when you do simple tasks, such as drinking from a glass or tying shoelaces.

Essential tremor is usually not a dangerous condition, but it typically worsens over time and can be severe in some people. Other conditions don't cause essential tremor, although essential tremor is sometimes confused with Parkinson's disease.


Dystonia is a movement disorder in which your muscles contract involuntarily, causing repetitive or twisting movements.

The condition can affect one part of your body (focal dystonia), two or more adjacent parts (segmental dystonia) or all parts of your body (general dystonia). The muscle spasms can range from mild to severe. They may be painful, and they can interfere with your performance of day-to-day tasks.

There's no cure for dystonia. But medications can improve symptoms. Surgery is sometimes used to disable or regulate nerves or certain brain regions in people with severe dystonia.

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a neurosurgical procedure involving the placement of a medical device called a neurostimulator, which sends electrical impulses, through implanted electrodes, to specific targets in the brain (the brain nucleus) for the treatment of movement disorders, including Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, dystonia, and other conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and epilepsy. While its underlying principles and mechanisms are not fully understood, DBS directly changes brain activity in a controlled manner.

Tics and Tourette’s Syndrome

Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a condition of the nervous system. TS causes people to have “tics”.

Tics are sudden twitches, movements, or sounds that people do repeatedly. People who have tics cannot stop their body from doing these things. For example, a person might keep blinking over and over. Or, a person might make a grunting sound unwillingly.

Having tics is a little bit like having hiccups. Even though you might not want to hiccup, your body does it anyway. Sometimes people can stop themselves from doing a certain tic for a while, but it’s hard. Eventually the person has to do the tic.

Botulinum Toxin Injections

Botox injections are noted primarily for the ability to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles. They're also used to treat conditions such as neck spasms (cervical dystonia), excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), an overactive bladder and lazy eye. Botox injections may also help prevent chronic migraines.

Botox injections use a toxin called onobotulinumtoxinA to temporarily prevent a muscle from moving. This toxin is produced by the microbe that causes botulism, a type of food poisoning.

Cerebellar Ataxia

Ataxia describes a lack of muscle control or coordination of voluntary movements, such as walking or picking up objects. A sign of an underlying condition, ataxia can affect various movements and create difficulties with speech, eye movement and swallowing.

Persistent ataxia usually results from damage to the part of your brain that controls muscle coordination (cerebellum). Many conditions can cause ataxia, including alcohol misuse, certain medication, stroke, tumor, cerebral palsy, brain degeneration and multiple sclerosis. Inherited defective genes also can cause the condition.

Treatment for ataxia depends on the cause. Adaptive devices, such as walkers or canes, might help you maintain your independence. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and regular aerobic exercise also might help.

Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a condition that causes an uncontrollable urge to move your legs, usually because of an uncomfortable sensation. It typically happens in the evening or nighttime hours when you're sitting or lying down. Moving eases the unpleasant feeling temporarily.

RLS, also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, can begin at any age and generally worsens as you age. It can disrupt sleep, which interferes with daily activities.

Simple self-care steps and lifestyle changes may help relieve symptoms. Medications also help many people with RLS.

Periodic Limb Movements of Sleep

Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) is a condition in which a person's legs, and sometimes arms, move repetitively and uncontrollably while he or she is asleep. These episodes of limb movement can disrupt the person's sleep, causing insomnia or daytime sleepiness. Periodic limb movement symptoms are only thought to be a disorder (PLMD) when insomnia or daytime sleepiness cannot be explained by any other problem, such as restless legs syndrome. Recently, it has been found that these movements are often linked to subtle breathing problems.


Myoclonus refers to a quick, involuntary muscle jerk. Hiccups are a form of myoclonus, as are the sudden jerks, or "sleep starts," you may feel just before falling asleep. These forms of myoclonus occur in healthy people and rarely present a problem.

Other forms of myoclonus may occur because of a nervous system (neurological) disorder, such as epilepsy, a metabolic condition, or a reaction to a medication.

Ideally, treating the underlying cause will help control your myoclonus symptoms. If the cause of myoclonus is unknown or can't be specifically treated, then treatment focuses on reducing the effects of myoclonus on your quality of life.

Chorea, Ballism and Huntington's Disease

Chorea is a movement disorder that causes involuntary, irregular, unpredictable muscle movements. The disorder can make you look like you’re dancing (the word chorea comes from the Greek word for “dance”) or look restless or fidgety.

Chorea is a movement problem that occurs in many different diseases and conditions. Chorea itself isn’t life-threatening, but it could be a sign of a neurological disease such as Huntington’s disease. Doctors can prescribe medication to control the abnormal muscle movements. Depending on the underlying cause, chorea may be temporary or be ongoing and get worse over time.

At least two other movements related to chorea are seen in neurological diseases.

Ballism usually involves more intense movements such as wild flinging of one arm or leg. Usually the movements only affect one side of the body (hemiballism).

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Scottsdale AZ 85258
(480) 403-4635
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