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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Mercy Clinic Four Rivers Launches New Program

March 2, 2017

Approximately 6 million people in the United States have movement disorders. Specialists with Mercy Clinic Four Rivers Neurology and Mercy Therapy Services in Washington are now offering an individualized program to evaluate patients with movement disorders.
The goal is to recommend treatment options that can help control symptoms and improve quality of life.
Yongzhong Wei, PA-C, and Katie Curran, PT, have teamed up to assess patients who may suffer from hypokinetic (slow movement) or hyperkinetic (excessive movement) issues causing their movement problems.
 majority of their focus in the beginning will be on individuals suffering from Parkinson’s disease, essential tremors and dystonia (involuntary muscle spasms).  Bingzhong Chen, MD, Mercy Clinic Neurology, oversees the program.
General Services
Their initial evaluation includes a thorough medical history and physical examination. If Parkinson’s disease (or related syndromes) is diagnosed, the patient is offered a comprehensive assessment.
Physical therapy in the clinic will be a screening to assess gait issues, walking difficulty, fall risk and need for assistive devices.
Curran also will review if a referral for formal physical therapy is warranted or would be beneficial. The need for occupational therapy, speech therapy or nutritional support will be evaluated as well.
In addition, a home exercise program may be implemented.
Wei will evaluate current medications a patient is taking, or discuss or prescribe medications to reduce muscle rigidity, minimize tremors and improve speed and coordination of movement. Some patients also may benefit from botulinum toxin and collagen injections to treat muscle spasms.
If necessary, additional screening and imaging testing may be used to rule out other conditions and/or detect signs of other movement disorders. This may include blood tests, MRI and CT scans, or electrical tests such as electroencephalogram (EEG) and electromyogram (EMG).
“We’ve heard from community support groups, patients and family members that a specialized program to help determine if someone has Parkinson’s or other movement disorders would be beneficial,” said David Chalk, MD, president, Mercy Clinic Four Rivers.
“We are always evaluating those needs and executing suggestions when and where we can,” he said. “I am proud to know the implementation of a program like this will help so many people in the communities we serve.”
Evaluations will be offered on the fourth Wednesday of every month from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mercy Medical Building South in Washington, 901 Patients First Drive, Suite 2000.
To learn more about the Mercy Four Rivers Movement Disorders program, call 636-390-1776.

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