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Movement Disorders

When essential parts of the nervous system fail to work properly, patients can develop a broad range of movement disorder symptoms. At USF Health, our team of neurologists are specially trained to diagnose and develop a comprehensive treatment plan based on your movement disorders condition. Beyond helping to manage your condition with a broad spectrum of care options, from pharmaceutical to treatment options, we offer access to support groups for patients and their families.

We diagnose and care for patients with these movement disorders and diseases:

  • Ataxia 
  • Dystonia 
  • Essential tremor 
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease 
  • Atypical Parkinsonism 
  • Rett syndrome
  • Spasticity
  • Tardive dyskinesia

We provide the following treatment options:

  • Botox
  • Deep brain stimulation (DBS)


USF Health Ataxia Research Center 

For Ataxia appointments: (813) 396-9478

Our dedicated team of cerebellar ataxia experts is committed to providing specialized medical care for those people diagnosed with cerebellar ataxia. From specialized patient evaluations and treatment to pioneering clinical research, the USF Health Ataxia Research Center is this region’s primary facility offering the most advanced care possible for this uncommon disorder. 

We also collaborate with several clinical and basic science departments at USF and in other universities around the country to offer a center dedicated to translational neuroscience ataxia and balance, as well as multi-site clinical research. 

Offering both adult and pediatric clinical care, our focus is on: 

  • Pharmacologic therapies 
  • Physical therapy 
  • Basic pharmacologic research 
  • Stem cell research 
  • Neuroepidemiology 
  • Neurogenesis 

The ataxias represent a diverse group of uncommon degenerative neurological disorders that can be found in all ages and ethnic groups. Ataxia, meaning the inability to coordinate the movement of muscles, causing clumsy and awkward movements, often causes many other problems as well. 

Therefore, we have assembled a diverse team of experts to bring the best possible level of care and treatment to those individuals diagnosed with these disorders. Our team includes pediatric and adult specialists who represent many specialties, including: 

  • Neurology
  • Cardiology
  • Orthopaedics
  • Endocrinology
  • Immunology
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry
  • Physical Therapy


USF Health Huntington's Disease Center of Excellence

For HD Clinic appointments: (813) 974-6022 

The Huntington's Disease Society of America (HDSA) earned the designation the USF Health Huntington Disease Clinic a Center of Excellence, one of 29 Centers across the country.

Our HDSA HD Center of Excellence serves the entire state of Florida, from the panhandle to the Keys with a few families in southern Georgia and Spanish-speaking families from Puerto Rico also seeking our services. As public awareness of HD increases, the population we serve continues to grow, both because new families are moving into the state but mostly because the people we care for have spread the word to the rest of their families. Our HD team includes specialists in neurology, psychology, nursing, social services and genetics. 

Huntington's disease is a disorder passed down through families in which certain nerve cells in the brain waste away, or degenerate. It is a rare disorder that is not often seen by general practitioners or even neurologists. It is characterized by the appearance of involuntary movements known as chorea, as well as a decline in cognitive function and alterations in mood. The gene responsible for this hereditary condition was identified in 1994. Now people with chorea, or healthy people at risk for the illness because of a family history, can have a genetic test performed on a blood sample to determine if they carry the gene.

USF Health Neurology has established a specialized Huntington's Disease clinic that is dedicated to providing a full spectrum of services, ranging from genetic counseling and testing, disease management, experimental therapeutics, social services, as well as physical and speech therapy. Our approach to care for HD patients is multidisciplinary – we collaborate across a range of specialists, including neurology, genetic counseling and testing, neuropsychology, social services, psychiatry, dietary, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and coordination of care for internal and external services.      

USF Health Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center

For Parkinson's Center appointments: (813) 396-0751 

The USF Health Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center is recognized as a National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence. As this region’s primary Parkinson’s center, we provide cutting-edge care to patients with Parkinson’s disease, a Parkinson Study Group, and an NIH Neuroprotective Exploratory Trials (NET-PD) site, in which our multi-disciplinary team is developing medications to slow or stop the progression of Parkinson’s disease. 

Our facilities also include a Parkinson’s Disease and Balance Center, where patients receive specialized care for their parkinsonisms and balance disorders, including atypical parkinsonisms, such as progressive supranuclear palsy and multiple system atrophy. We also work extensively with patients with other movement disorders, including essential tremor, ataxia and dystonia. Other treatment options including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, exercise, and nutrition are emphasized. Special attention is paid to the neuropsychiatric needs of movement disorders patients as well. The center also collaborates closely with neurosurgery in treating patients who require deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease and tremor.

As an academic medical center, the USF Health Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center is at the forefront in developing new medical and surgical treatment options. We are an international leader in the advancing of Parkinson’s disease management, and we utilize this new knowledge to improve both diagnosis and patient care.

Clinical Trials

This study is enrolling patients with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). The goal is to access the efficacy and safety of BIIB092.

For more information go to

To enroll in this study at USF please contact Jessica Shaw at (813) 974-1414

This study is enrolling patients with Friedrich’s Ataxia. The purpose is to evaluate the efficacy of TAK-831 versus placebo on upper extremity (arm and hands) motor function and manual dexterity.

For more information go to: 

To enroll in this study at USF please contact our office at (813) 974-5909

The purpose of this NIH funded trial is to evaluate Spinocerebellar ataxia, types 1 and 3, for clinical outcomes which can be used in future trials of SCA.

For more information go to:

To enroll in this study at USF please contact our office at (813) 974-5909

This 2-part study will evaluate the efficacy, safety, and pharmacodynamics of omaveloxolone (RTA 408) in the treatment of patients with Friedreich's ataxia. 

For more information please visit the website at:

To enroll in this study at USF please contact Jessica Shaw at (813) 974-1414

This is a long-term study of the natural progression of disease in Friedreich’s Ataxia. 

To enroll in this study at USF please contact Jessica Shaw at (813) 974-1414.
The goal of this study is to evaluate the safety and tolerability of multiple doses of BMS-986168 in patients with PSP.  

For more information please visit the website at:

To enroll in this study at USF please contact Jessica Shaw at (813) 974-1414

The purpose of this study is to compare the efficacy of BHV-4157 versus placebo on ataxia symptoms in subjects with spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA).  

For more information please visit the website at:

To enroll in this study at USF please contact Jessica Shaw at (813) 974-1414. 

The purpose of this study is to assess the efficacy and long term safety and tolerability of ABBV-8E12 for up to 52 weeks in subjects with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP).

To enroll in this study at USF please contact Jessica Shaw at (813) 974-1414. 

USF Health $5.6 million study to define link between genetics and heart disease in many Friedreich’s ataxia patients

From left, Dr. Kami Kim, Dr. Aarti Patel, Dr. Thomas McDonald, and Dr. Theresa Zesiewicz. Not pictured is Sami Noujaim, PhD.

Click here to view article and learn more. 

The USF Health Ataxia Research Center 

USF Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center at the Byrd Alzheimer's Institute

Early Parkinson’s patients waiting too long to seek medical evaluation