The Link Between Cognition, Behavior and Movement Disorders
While the motor symptoms of movement disorders may be readily recognized, many patients do not realize that movement disorders also can affect thinking, memory, behavior and mood. Too often, these non-motor symptoms go unreported and untreated because patients and physicians fail to connect them to the patient’s movement disorder.
Non-motor symptoms of movement disorders can affect everyone differently and can occur at different stages of the disease. While they do not affect every patient, these non-motor symptoms can greatly affect a patient’s quality of life, and many can be treatable. Addressing non-motor symptoms is an important part of a patient’s comprehensive care across all stages of disease.
Non-motor symptoms may include cognitive changes such as:
- Problems planning or organizing
- Trouble paying attention
- Inability to finish tasks
- Problems with memory or thinking clearly
- Fluctuations in thinking and abilities
You may also experience emotional or behavioral changes, including:
- Loss of interest or initiative (apathy)
- Personality changes
- Disinhibition or impulsivity
Appointments and Referrals
We provide consultations for new patients, including one-time referrals and second opinions, as well as continued management of disease. To schedule an appointment or to refer a patient, please call 312.695.7950, TTY 711.
Meet the Team
Experts in the Movement Disorders Cognitive Behavioral Program can address both the physical motor symptoms and the cognitive, behavioral and emotional non-motor symptoms associated with movement disorders, including:
Providing Customized Treatment
The Northwestern Medicine Movement Disorders Cognitive Behavioral Program, part of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, is one of few programs in the country that uses an interdisciplinary and patient-centered approach to address the cognitive, behavioral and emotional aspects of movement disorders and to incorporate the well-being of both patients and family members into the patient's treatment plan.
The center’s highly experienced specialists work together as a team to assess a patient’s cognitive, behavioral and emotional well-being, and to provide individualized recommendations to address symptoms in those areas.
Together, our team works to develop a care plan tailored to your unique needs. Medication, lifestyle changes and other therapies may play a role in treating non-motor symptoms, and research opportunities may also be considered.
Our comprehensive approach involves experts in:
- Movement disorders neurology
- Social work
Consultations may also be offered with specialists in psychiatry, palliative care and/or physical medicine and rehabilitation.
Why Choose Northwestern Medicine
Northwestern Memorial Hospital is the only Illinois hospital on the national Honor Roll for 12 straight years, and is ranked in the top 10 for neurology and neurosurgery programs in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report, 2023–2024.