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National Movement Disorders Interactive Experience Center Comes to Tampa Bay for First Time

Life in Motion Initiative and University of South Florida Partner to Bring Interactive Exhibit Tampa Bay to Educate Community About Neurological


TAMPA BAY, Fla., Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- University of South Florida and WE MOVE(TM) have partnered to bring an interactive exhibit, called the Life in Motion Movement Disorders Experience Center, to Tampa Bay to help educate the public about movement disorders and their symptoms in an effort to facilitate a more timely and accurate diagnosis of these conditions. It is the first time this traveling exhibit is in Tampa Bay; local movement disorder patients will be visiting the experience center to share their personal experience with attendees.

Saturday, September 15, 7:00 Pm - 11:00 Pm

Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center

Jaeb Theater

1010 N WC Macinnes Place

Tampa, FL


Movement disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, tremor, spasticity, dystonia, and restless legs syndrome are chronic and debilitating neurological conditions that affect more than 40 million Americans, more than twice the number of people with diabetes and more than four times the number of those surviving cancer.

"We know that historically, it can take a person with a movement disorder five years and visits to as many as 15 different doctors before receiving an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment," said Robert A. Hauser, M.D., M.B.A.; Professor of Neurology, Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics; Director, Clinical Neuroscience Research Program; Director, Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center of Excellence, University of South Florida. "The Life in Motion Movement Disorders Experience Center is an innovative way to educate people about movement disorders and their symptoms. Education is essential; the faster someone experiencing symptoms of a movement disorder visits a neurologist or physiatrist, the quicker they can receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment."

"Living with a movement disorder can impact not only the individual, but family, friends and careers," noted Tampa resident and spasmodic dysphonia patient Emma Mattes. "Like many others who battle these types of illnesses, I became depressed because I did not understand what was happening to me or how I could fix it, but luckily, treatment has greatly improved my condition and a local support group network has helped restore my self-esteem. I hope that as people become more educated about movement disorders, these conditions will be diagnosed and treated appropriately and quickly." Spasmodic dysphonia is a type of focal dystonia that affects more than 50,000 people in North America, and is characterized by involuntary "spasms" of the vocal cords causing interruptions of speech and affecting the voice quality.

The Life in Motion Movement Disorders Experience Center provides participants with restraining devices, vibrating apparatuses and other tools that simulate daily challenges associated with movement disorders. People "experience" the challenges of living with these disorders first-hand, providing them with a better understanding of the symptoms of movement disorders. In addition, fact sheets will be available that provide background information on the disorders and brochures with information on how patients and family members can discuss these issues with their healthcare providers.

The Movement Disorders Experience Center will be available to the public during a benefit called "A Taste of Broadway" hosted by the USF Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center. The event will include a silent auction, food and wine tasting and a concert performance and costs $75 per person.

"Although much remains to be discovered about movement disorders, our understanding of Parkinson's disease, spasticity, dystonia, essential tremor and other movement disorders has reached unprecedented heights," commented Dr. Hauser. "The ability of physicians to treat these conditions is greater than ever. The first step comes with seeing a physician experienced with movement disorders, like a neurologist or physiatrist."

To raise awareness of movement disorders among congressional representatives, Life in Motion sponsored a letter-writing campaign that resulted in more than 4,000 Americans writing letters to their local representatives in 2006. Residents from all 50 states participated; Florida residents alone sent more than 230 letters to their representatives in Congress.

Spearheaded by WE MOVE(TM), the Life in Motion initiative was launched in 2005 and has united an unprecedented 58 patient advocacy groups, foundations and professional societies to raise awareness about movement disorders such as dystonia, spasticity, tremor, restless legs syndrome, Parkinson's disease, tics and Tourette's syndrome, and Huntington's disease that affect nearly one in seven people in the United States. The Life in Motion campaign is funded through an unrestricted educational grant from Allergan, Inc.

Life in Motion Resource Center

Additional information on movement disorders, diagnosis and treatment options as well as downloadable fact sheets and brochures can be found at the Life in Motion Resource Center at

About Movement Disorders

Movement disorders originate deep within the brain and are caused by changes to specific regions of the brain and nervous system. Areas of the brain that control movement send chemical messages that set off a chain of events resulting in involuntary muscle contractions or spasms. Why this happens is largely unknown.

Although there are no current cures for movement disorders, many of them can be effectively treated with oral medications, botulinum toxin injection therapy targeted to spastic or abnormally contracting muscles, and surgery and physical or occupational therapies. In many cases, combinations of drugs and therapies are used by a multi-disciplinary team of specialists that may include a primary care physician, neurologist, physiatrist, nurse, a physical, occupational, and speech therapist, social worker, teacher and psychologist.


WE MOVE (Worldwide Education and Awareness of Movement Disorders) is a not-for-profit organization that has been educating and informing the movement disorder community for more than a decade. The mission of WE MOVE is to facilitate the communication of emerging clinical advances and therapeutic approaches to the management and treatment of movement disorders. Through its award-winning, Health on the Net (HON)-compliant Web sites, and as an ACCME-accredited provider of continuing medical education (CME), WE MOVE strives to meet the educational needs of healthcare professionals, patients and caregivers. WE MOVE develops up-to-date training programs and comprehensive, interactive teaching materials to assist the community in deepening its understanding of movement disorders, their pathophysiology, etiology, differential diagnosis and state-of-the-art interventions. WE MOVE believes that increased knowledge and understanding promote timely, accurate diagnosis, and up-to-date treatment, resulting in a better quality of life for individuals affected by movement disorders.

More than 160,000 people visit the WE MOVE award-winning Web sites each month to access accurate, timely, and balanced information and resources on movement disorders, (consumers); (professionals).

Life in Motion Coalition Members

American Academy for Cerebral Palsy & Developmental Medicine

American Academy of Neurology

American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

American Association of Neurological Surgeons

American Association of Neuroscience Nurses

American Geriatrics Society

American Parkinson's Disease Association, Inc.

American Physical Therapy Association

American Stroke Association

Bachmann-Strauss Dystonia & Parkinson Foundation, Inc.

Benign Essential Blepharospasm Research Foundation, Inc.

Care4Dystonia, Inc.

Child Neurology Foundation

Child Neurology Society

Dystonia Medical Research Foundation

Easter Seals

Huntington's Study Group

Huntington's Disease Society of America

International Dystonia On-Line Support Group

International Essential Tremor Foundation

International Rett Syndrome Association

Movement Disorder Society

Musicians with Dystonia

National Alliance for Caregiving

National Ataxia Foundation

National Family Caregivers Association

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

National Parkinson Foundation, Inc.

National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association

National Spasmodic Torticollis Association

National Spinal Cord Injury Association

National Stroke Association

North American Brain Injury Society

Northwest Parkinson's Foundation

Parents of Infants and Children with Kernicterus

Parkinson Action Network

Parkinson Association of the Carolinas

Parkinson Association of the Rockies

Parkinson Foundation of the Heartland

Parkinson Pipeline Project

Parkinson Study Group

Parkinson's Disease Foundation

Pediatric Neurotransmitter Disease Association

People Living with Parkinson's

Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation

Rett Syndrome Research Foundation

Society for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Inc.

Spasmodic Torticollis/Dystonia, Inc.

Spastic Paraplegia Foundation, Inc.

The Parkinson Alliance

Tourette Syndrome Association, Inc.

Tremor Action Network

United Cerebral Palsy Research and Educational Foundation

United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation

Well Spouse Association

Wilson's Disease Association


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