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​Overview

The Parkinson’s Disease and Research Center at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is the only center in the UAE providing all available medical and surgical treatment options for patients with Parkinson’s disease. Our multidisciplinary team of experts includes world-renowned neurologists who are fellowship trained in Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders, a functional neurosurgeon, an excellent team of physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists and is supported by psychiatry, psychology, gastroenterology, andurology teams.

Our team takes a collaborative approach to managing and treating these disorders, offering comprehensive medical management and innovative treatments to empower patients so they can live life to the fullest.

We work closely with the comprehensive Center for Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders at Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, ranked as one of the best hospitals in the world. Having regular multidisciplinary team meetings with the team in the US allows us to provide the best care to patients in line with the highest international standards.​ 

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is the fastest growing neurodegenerative condition with an alarming increase in prevalence in the UAE and around the world. It is a condition of the nervous system that affects your movements, caused by changes in a small area of the brain that controls how you move your body. It is a progressive disease and symptoms can appear gradually, sometimes over a period of weeks, months or even years. Patients commonly attribute symptoms to aging at first and it is often family and friends who are the ones that notice early changes.

Living with Parkinson’s disease or a movement disorder can have a big impact on your independence and quality of life if not receiving the appropriate care. Every movement your body makes is controlled by interactions between your brain, spinal cord and muscles. Movement disorders are caused by abnormal brain function and can result in involuntary movements ranging in severity from subtle to disabling and can make everyday tasks difficult.

The most common symptoms of Parkinson’s are a slow-down in movements of the whole body (usually most noticeable when walking), shaking and tremors, and muscle stiffness which can cause a stooped posture. Other symptoms can include speaking in a slower, softer voice, mood changes, anxiety, depression, a loss of facial expression or a loss of the sense of smell. Parkinson’s symptoms can range from subtle to severe, but with proper treatment you can still live a full and active life.

You can find out more about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment for Parkinson’s disease in our Health Library.​

What We Treat

    We offer comprehensive treatment for a range of neurological disorders, including:
  • ​​​​Ataxia
  • Atypical parkinsonism such as progressive supranuclear palsy
  • Chorea
  • Corticobasal gegeneration
  • Dystonia
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Multiple system atrophy
  • Myoclonus
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Tardive dyskinesia
  • Tics and Tourette's syndrome
  • Tremor
  • Wilson's disease

Diagnosis and Treatment 

We offer a range of advanced, cutting-edge treatments for Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders. A clinical diagnosis is first made by reviewing a patient’s history and performing a neurological exam. The severity and stage of the condition are also assessed. Our team will then discuss your individual needs and the most appropriate treatment for you.

We are the only center in the UAE to offer all treatment modalities for patients with early or late stages of Parkinson’s disease. Treatment with medication for Parkinson’s disease is effective and can help improve movement symptoms. Alongside medical and surgical treatments, patients require an holistic approach to their care, and we are supported by our rehabilitation team which includes physical therapists, speech therapists and occupational therapists, who are specialized in Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. 

Treatment options for Parkinson’s disease include:

Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical procedure that involves implanting electrodes in the brain, which deliver electrical impulses that block or change the abnormal activity that cause symptoms. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Parkinson’s Disease and Research Center performs the highest number of DBS surgeries in the UAE. 

In DBS, electrodes are placed in the targeted areas of the brain which are connected by wires to a type of pacemaker device (called an implantable pulse generator) placed under the skin of the chest below the collarbone.

Once activated, the pulse generator sends continuous electrical pulses to the target areas in the brain, modifying the abnormal activity in the area of the brain that is causing symptoms. The DBS system operates much the same way as a pacemaker for the heart. In fact, DBS is referred to as “the pacemaker for the brain.”

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi performs UAE’s first Deep Brain Stimulation Operations

Levodopa Carbidopa Intestinal Gel (DUOPA) Pump Therapy

Levodopa-Carbidopa is the most effective medication for Parkinson’s disease. Duopa infusion delivers Levodopa-carbidopa in gel form through a small hole (called a ‘stoma’) in the stomach wall to a tube in the intestine. A pump then delivers Duopa directly to the intestine through this tube, delivering medication in a continuous fashion throughout the day which helps to reduce fluctuations significantly, giving the patient control of their symptoms throughout the day.

Advanced treatment for advanced Parkinson’s disease put patient back in the driving Seat​

Apomorphine Injections and Infusion Pump

Apomorphine is a dopamine agonist medication that helps to control symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. It is delivered via injection under the skin. The medication works very quickly, but the effect of the medication lasts only 60-90 minutes. Therefore, apomorphine injections can be used as emergency treatment to treat sudden ‘off’ states. Continuous delivery of the medication is possible using an apomorphine infusion pump which is delivered by a needle placed under the skin.

Botulinum toxin treatment/Chemodenervation clinic for dystonia and other movement disorders

Chemodenervation refers to the use of Botulinum Toxin (botox) in treating several neurological conditions. Botulinum Toxin is a product formed by bacteria Clostridium botulinum and in a purified form is used to treat many neurological conditions, such as dystonia, spasticity (stiffness in muscles), excessive drooling of saliva, excessive sweating, tremor (shaking) conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and dystonic tremor.

There are several types of dystonia, each with different symptoms:

  • Dystonia or torticollis: when the neck turns to one side
  • Cervical dystonia: a twisting of the neck/head
  • Limb dystonia: a tightness in the hands with a twisting of the hands or legs, while walking or at rest
  • Blepharospasm: excessive blinking or an involuntary closure of the eyes
  • Hemifacial spasms: spasms or twitches of the face
  • Sialorrhea: excessive drooling of saliva
  • Hyperhidrosis: excessive sweating of the palms, feet and axilla

There are many other conditions that can be effectively treated with careful botulinum toxin injections, with the effects lasting from 3 to 6 months.

We are the first center in the UAE to offer electromyogram (EMG) guided injections for complicated movement disorders, performed by our movement disorder neurologist. We also have a team of neurologists who perform botulinum toxin for spasticity and headache conditions.​

Parkinson’s Disease and Research Center Caregivers

One of the most important parts of any treatment plan for neurological disorders is a dedicated, experienced team of specialist caregivers. Our multidisciplinary team work together with the aim of providing the best possible treatment outcome for you. Caregivers at the center include: ​

  • Movement disorder neurologists
  • Functional Neurosurgeons​
  • Neuropsychologists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Speech and language therapists
  • Rehabilitation assistants
  • Clinical nurse specialists

VIEW ALL DOCTORS WHO CAN HELP WITH Parkinson’s Disease & Movement Disorders ​

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