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Therapy Clinics for Movement Disorders, Neuromodulation, and Intrathecal Baclofen (ITB) Pumps

Program Overview

People with movement disorders can experience involuntary movement such as tremor, abnormal posture, slowness, walking difficulties, and stiffness due to neurological conditions. These disorders, which include Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, and dystonia, range from mild to severe. Persons are significantly impacted in their ability to function well and live independently. The treatment is to manage symptoms, provide education and encourage self-management. 

The Movement Disorders Clinic is a referral only clinic. Located at the Saint John Regional Hospital (SJRH) it has been supporting patients since 2007. Persons referred are seen in the clinic and are treated by a Neurologist with a subspecialty in movement disorders and the Movement Disorder Nurse.  Working collaboratively with our colleagues in Neurology, Physiatry and Neurosurgery we strive for the best possible care and treatment. Our case management approach to care is aimed at improving quality of life and independence for persons living with movement disorders. 

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is a surgical treatment used in persons who have Parkinson's Disease (PD), Essential Tremor (ET) or Dystonia. DBS therapy involves the surgical placement of a lead into the brain which is connected with an extension to a small device called a neurostimulator, which is implanted under the skin in the chest or in the abdomen. When turned on, it produces electrical impulses that are sent to the brain to stop or reduce the electrical signals and disabling symptoms of PD, ET, and Dystonia. It is a form of Neuromodulation. DBS surgery is performed in Halifax. After implantation, the ongoing programming and maintenance is completed by the Movement Disorder Nurse in collaboration with Dr. Kuriakose, Neurologist at the Neuromodulation Clinic, located at the Saint John Regional Hospital. Surgery to replace the battery is performed at the SJRH by Neurosurgery. 

The Intrathecal Baclofen (ITB) Pump Therapy Clinic manages the care of persons who have an ITB pump for the treatment of moderate to severe spasticity. The care includes refilling the ITB pump and making dose adjustments as required. ITB pumps delivers baclofen directly into the fluid-filled area surrounding the spinal cord through a surgically placed catheter that connects to an implanted infusion device that delivers precise amounts of baclofen directly to the intrathecal space. Persons with cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, stroke or multiple sclerosis who have tried and failed on oral antispasmodics medication may benefit from ITB therapy. The ITB pump is implanted by our neurosurgery team. The refilling and adjustment of the pump is performed by the Movement Disorder Nurse in collaboration with the Neurosurgeon.

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