About Parkinson’s Disease & Movement Disorders
The area of movement disorders includes problems such as tremor, Parkinson’s disease and Parkinsonian syndromes, dystonia (including torticollis, spasmodic dysphonia and blepharospasm), restless leg syndrome, tic and Tourette syndrome, chorea, spasticity and tardive dyskinesia.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder characterized by tremor at rest, rigidity, and difficulty initiating movement. It is caused by the selective death of neurons in a the ventral midbrain, an area that is critical for movement. As of yet, no one knows precisely why these cells die.
Dystonia is a neurological disorder in which uncontrollable muscle contractions force certain parts of the body into abnormal, sometimes painful, movements or postures. The most common form of dystonia is cervical dystonia, sometimes called spasmodic torticollis, in contractions of the neck and/or shoulder muscles cause the head to twist or tilt.
Although some of the dystonias are caused by another disease and therefore called secondary dystonia, the majority cases of dystonia are called primary or idiopathic dystoniahave as they have no connection to another disease or injury. Of the primary dystonias, many cases appear to be inherited in a dominant manner; i.e., only one carrier parent need contribute the dystonia gene for the disease to occur. Each child has a 50/50 chance of being a carrier.
Myoclonus is a rare neurological syndrome of sudden, brief, shock-like muscular contractions or inhibitions. Myoclonus may occur following the oxygen deprivation that occurs as a result of cardiac arrest but can also be caused by a number of other conditions.
Essential tremor denotes a condition of involuntary trembling, usually of the hands. This tremor is distinguished from parkinsonian tremor by its fine, rapid nature. This condition is usually hereditary and may progress to involve additional parts of the body. In some cases, however, the tremor remains largely confined to a single body region.
Spasticity is a condition of increased muscle tone and exaggerated deep tendon reflexes. The condition often leads to postural deformity and can interfere with a person’s ability to carry out the activities associated with daily living. Spasticity can occur following damage to the central nervous system resulting from a stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, or other conditions.
The Parkinson's & Movement Disorder Foundation relies upon its Board of Directors to maintain the vision, promote the mission, and support the Parkinson's disease community of Southern California.
These are the people who work daily to carry out PMDF's mission:
Board of Directors
- Mark Wadsworth, President
- Mary Ann Chapman, PhD., V.P.
- Sami Nasrawi, Secretary
- Gianni Truong, Treasurer
- Peter Perry
- Deborah Wilson
Honorary Advisory Board
- Hon. Loretta Sanchez
- Tom Railsback, Ret. U.S. Congressman
- Victor Tsao
- Daniel D. Truong, MD
- Victor Passy, MD
- Vi Tran