Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders

Expert treatment for Parkinson’s disease in San Diego

Scripps neurologist Dr. Melissa Houser assesses a man for hand tremors related to Parkinson's disease, representing the expert, compassionate care received at Scripps.

Dr. Melissa Houser, Neurology, Scripps Clinic

Expert treatment for Parkinson’s disease in San Diego

Movement disorders are a type of nervous system disorder that originate in the brain and central nervous system, which controls motor functions. Scripps neurologists and other physicians work together to provide exceptional care for patients with movement disorders that can hinder quality of life, such as Parkinson’s disease. This collaboration offers patients the best treatment plans for movement disorders and encourages independent living.


In addition, Scripps Clinic doctors participate in a research program with The Scripps Research Institute to investigate Parkinson’s disease and treatment using neuron cell replacement therapy.

About movement disorders

While not all movement disorders can be cured, many can be managed effectively. Scripps offers extensive rehabilitation programs for patients with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.

About Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common movement disorders. Parkinson’s disease causes are not known and its onset is progressive, meaning symptoms get worse over time. While no cure is yet available for Parkinson’s disease, its symptoms can be managed with proper diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation, including physical, occupational and speech therapies.

Parkinson’s disease and movement disorder treatment at Scripps

Depending on the type and progression of the movement disorder, the Scripps neurology team will recommend personalized care plans to achieve the best possible outcome. Treatment plans usually include one or more of the following therapies:


  • Medications
  • Physical therapy, occupational therapy and/or speech therapy and rehabilitation
  • Surgical intervention, including: 
  • Deep brain stimulation (DBS)
  • Pallidotomy, a procedure in which a surgeon makes a scar in part of the brain called the globus pallidus, where the tremor-causing brain activity originates
  • Thalamotomy, a procedure in which a surgeon destroys a part of the brain called the thalamus, which controls some involuntary movements
  • Dopamine pump, for continuous infusion of dopamine gel into the intestines

Parkinson’s disease rehabilitation programs at Scripps

Scripps offers an extensive range of rehabilitation programs for people living with Parkinson’s. Our goal is to help individuals relieve symptoms and learn skills to manage some of the physical and neurological problems caused by the disease. 


Scripps physical therapists are specially trained to care for people with neurological conditions. Many have advanced certifications, including Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT) certification, Neurological Clinical Specialist (NCS) certification, and Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LVST) certification.


We offer a variety of physical therapy services for Parkinson’s disease, including:


Parkinson’s disease treatment and rehab locations

The following Scripps Health locations in San Diego County offer treatment and outpatient rehabilitation services for people with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, including physical, occupational and speech therapy: