Our UHN programs and services are among the most advanced in the world. We have grouped our physicians, staff, services and resources into 10 medical programs to meet the needs of our patients and help us make the most of our resources.
University Health Network is a health care and medical research organization in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made us a national and international source for discovery, education and patient care.
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Movement Disorders involve problems with too much or too little movement because of neurological conditions. Some of these disorders are familiar, such as Parkinson's disease, but there are many others: Dystonia, tremor, Myoclonus, tics, ataxia and other inherited conditions.
Our clinic provides care for more than 9,000 visits a year. Our work includes botulinum toxin treatment, clinical trials and research that uses imaging of the brain, surgery, surveys, as well as the study of genetics and brain function.
Learn more about the Edmond J. Safra Program in Parkinson's disease and how we're improving the lives of those living with Parkinson's disease today and for the future.
All neurological disorders associated with hyperkinetic or akinetic-rigid (ie parkinsonism) movement disorders. For example:
Your first appointment can take 2 hours or more. After your visit to the clinic, you will likely go to the Blood Collection Lab for blood tests. Follow-up appointments usually take 30 minutes to 1 hour.
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The Movement Disorders Clinic was established in the 1980s and has grown from a single neurologist to the largest clinic of its kind in Canada, with eleven faculty neurologists working with a number of Fellows and nurses. Thanks to generous philanthropic support, we are now entitled as the Edmond J. Safra Program in Parkinson's Disease and the Morton and Gloria Shulman Movement Disorders Clinic. We have also been awarded a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence designation due to our international reputation for excellence in research, teaching and patient care.
There’s much more to movement disorders than tremors and unsteadiness. People with movement disorders can suffer personality changes, trouble sleeping and memory loss. Some disorders are very complex and can have a great impact on a person’s life.
Krembil Brain Institute, we want to change that. We want to restore a patient’s health when it comes to their brain and slow the progress of their disease.
Director of the Movement Disorders Clinic:
Dr. Anthony Lang. Visit
Dr. Lang's research profile
Mrs. Athea TuittPhone: 416 603 5875
Ms. Yu Yan Poon
Phone: 416 603 5875
Mr. A. Valencia, Nurse PractitionerPhone: 416 603 5800 ext. 2664
MDC Clinical Research »
We are involved in a large number of clinical research trials including pharmacologic studies evaluating a number of drugs at various stages of Parkinson's disease and other Movement Disorders.
The Toronto Western Hospital Movement Disorders Program remains a world leader in the surgical management of Parkinson's disease including the evaluation of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in novel sites or for new indications and the use of MRI-guided Focused Ultrasound.
Collaborators in the surgical arm of the program include Dr. Alfonso Fasano and Dr. Renato Munhoz in neurology and Dr. Andres Lozano, Dr. Mojgan Hodaie and Dr. Suneil Kalia in neurosurgery.
Neuropsychological and imaging evaluations of patients participating in these studies represent an important component of our collaborative research. Additional neurophysiologic studies in surgical patients as well as in other movement disorders are carried out by Dr. Robert Chen.
Clinical trials are very active in the program. Dr. Susan Fox directs a program in clinical neuropharmacology and early proof of principle studies. Dr. Connie Marras conducts clinical epidemiological studies including evaluating families with genetic forms of various movement disorders and assessing risk factors that could contribute to diseases such as Parkinson's disease.
We have recently developed a specialty clinic in the ataxias directed by Dr. Elizabeth Slow and Dr. Renato Munhoz.
Neuroimaging is an important component of our program and Dr. Antonio Strafella directs a very active functional imaging research program using positron emission tomography and functional MRI.
Molecular and cell biology and clinical genetics of movement disorders including Parkinson's disease are areas of expanding interest with Dr. Lorraine Kalia in the Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases, Krembil Brain Institute.
Neuropathologist Dr. Gabor Kovacs and Dr. Naomi Visanji also work out of the Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Disease, Krembil Brain Institute. Their work is supported by the Rossy Program for progressive supranuclear palsy research (PSP) led by Dr. Anthony Lang. Some of their work looks at identifying where the disease and the pathological accumulation of the tau protein starts in the brain, to better monitor patients and predict prognoses.
This broad-based research program is directed at attempting to solve the 'Parkinson puzzle' and other Movement Disorders at many levels including attempts at understanding the cause(s), improving the accuracy of diagnosis preventing/slowing the progression and treating the later stages more effectively.
Learn More About MDC Clinical Research »
We are committed to discovering causes of, and better treatments for, Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders through our extensive research program. Patients at our centre have the opportunity to participate in research and feel part of the process of finding answers. The participation of our patients and their families helps us to make progress in our understanding of the disease so that we can improve treatments or find cures. We have many studies going on at any one time.
Learn about Clinical Research and how taking part can help:
Consent to allow us to review your medical records and contact you about the possibility of participating in various research projects that we and our collaborators are conducting. This form does not commit you to participate in any research
Research Studies that are currently recruiting »
Learn about Brain Donation Research:
UHN and International Research Initiatives »
The Krembil Research Institute is the research arm of the Toronto Western Hospital The overall goal of Krembil's research program is to develop innovative treatments for chronic debilitating conditions that include chronic neurological disorders (e.g., Parkinson's disease, stroke, epilepsy, spinal cord injuries, dementia, concussion, pain and depression), ophthalmologic disorders (e.g., glaucoma, macular degeneration and retinopathy) and musculoskeletal system disorders (e.g., osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and ankylosing spondylitis. Learn more about
Krembil Research Institute | UHN Research.
UHN's Research Institutes span the full spectrum of diseases and disciplines, including cancer, cardiovascular sciences, transplantation, neural and sensory sciences, musculoskeletal health, rehabilitation sciences, and community and population health. Learn more about
Research at UHN | UHN Research.
If you are interested in hearing more about any of our research studies please email
Biomarkers – an indicator of the presence or severity of a disease.
DBS – Deep Brain Stimulation
ECG or EKG – Electrocardiogram checks how your heart is functioning by measuring the electrical activity of the heart.
EEG – Electroencephalography measures electrical activity of the brain with the electrodes placed along the scalp.
LIFUS – Low intensity focused ultrasound.
MCI – Mild cognitive impairment, in which people have more memory problems than normal for people their age.
MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create pictures of the anatomy and the processes of the body.
MSA – Multiple System Atrophy, a neurodegenerative disorder that can mimic Parkinson's.
PD – Parkinson’s Disease, a neurodegenerative brain disorder that can lead to shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with walking, balance, and coordination.
PET – Positron Emission Tomography is a nuclear imaging technique to create 3D colour images to see how your body’s cell are working.
Phase 2 clinical trial – Studies a drug’s effectiveness and determines risks and side effects in people with a disease or condition.
Phase 3 clinical trial – Compares a drug to standard therapies for a disease or condition.
Placebo – Substances that are made to resemble drugs but do not contain an active drug, they are usually a starch or sugar.
PSP – Progressive Supranuclear Palsy is an uncommon brain disorder that affects movement, walking and balance, speech, swallowing, vision, mood, behaviour and thinking.
RBD – REM Behaviour Disorder occurs when you act out vivid dreams when you are asleep.
snOH – Symptomatic Neurogenic Orthostatic Hypotension is a drop in blood pressure when standing up, changing positions, or standing for a long period of time.
TMS – Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain.
You will be contacted with information about your first appointment.
Please bring the following to your appointment. Not all of these items may be needed for your appointment. Our clinic or your referring doctor will let you know what you must bring.
Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment.
When you arrive, you will sign in with the receptionist. You will need your health card (OHIP card) to sign-in. If you do not have an OHIP card, please bring another form of government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
You may be given a Measuring Health Equity Questionnaire to fill out. This form contains questions about your background. We collect this information to find out who we serve and what unique needs you may have. The form is voluntary and you can choose ‘prefer not to answer’ to any or all questions. However, the information you choose to give us will help us improve the quality of care for you and others.
First appointments take longer than follow-up appointments. Your first appointment can take 2 hours or more. Follow-up appointments usually take 15 to 30 minutes. We do everything we can to stay on time but sometimes unforeseen circumstances may delay your appointment.
At the end of your first appointment, the nurse or doctor will give you a contact list for your health care team. If you don’t get a contact list, feel free to ask for it.
After every appointment, a member of your health care team will tell you about your next visit. Be sure you understand what is going to happen next. For example, know the time and place of your next visit or if someone will call you with this information.
If you are unsure about what your next steps are, don’t be afraid to ask a member of your team. We are here to help you.
We understand that reaching us by phone can sometimes be difficult. Often our phone lines are busy or are turned over to the message centre so our staff can prepare for clinic visits or help other patients. We make every effort to return your call within 24 hours. Our staff will try to reach you 2 times. If we are not able to reach you directly you may need to call us again.