Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago to Educate the Community About Neurological Disorders

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Hosts the Interactive Life in Motion Movement Disorders Experience Center to Educate the Community About Neurological Disorders

U.S. Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL) Voices His Support and Commitment to Raise Awareness of Movement Disorders and the Need for Early Diagnosis and Treatment

CHICAGO, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The world-renowned Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) and WE MOVE(TM) (Worldwide Education and Awareness of Movement Disorders) have partnered to bring a free, public, interactive exhibit, the Life in Motion Movement Disorders Experience Center, to RIC in order to educate Chicagoans about movement disorders and
their symptoms, and to provide suggestions to help people work with their healthcare providers to properly diagnose and treat movement disorders.

Movement disorders 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.

"The Movement Disorders Experience Center is an innovative way to educate people about movement disorders and their symptoms," noted Deborah J. Gaebler-Spira, M.D., pediatric physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation, RIC. "We know that historically, it can take a person with a movement disorder upwards of five years and visits to as many as 15 different doctors before receiving an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. As people become better educated about the symptoms of movement disorders and work with physicians experienced in diagnosing these conditions, such as a neurologist or physiatrist, they are much more likely to get a faster diagnosis and appropriate treatment."

The exhibit provides participants with restraining devices, vibrating apparatuses, and other devices that simulate daily challenges associated with movement disorders, like Parkinson's disease, tremor, spasticity, dystonia and restless legs syndrome, providing participants the opportunity to better understand what it's like to live with a movement disorder. In
addition, fact sheets providing background information on the disorders and brochures with information on how patients and family members can discuss these issues with their healthcare providers were distributed.

Last month, Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL), who led the effort in Congress to designate October as national Movement Disorders Awareness Month, was the keynote speaker at the first-ever Life in Motion Movement Disorder Patient Summit, held in Washington, D.C. Hosted by WE MOVE, the Summit builds upon the efforts of more than 4,000 Americans from every
state who have written letters to their representatives in Congress calling for greater awareness and availability of treatments for these debilitating neurological conditions. Illinois residents alone sent a total of 226 letters to their members of Congress.

"Many people with movement disorders find it difficult to obtain an accurate diagnosis and live with significant disability for years before they receive effective treatment," said Congressman Davis. "My hope is that Movement Disorders Awareness Month and initiatives such as the Life in Motion Movement Disorders Experience Center will help focus attention on what physicians, patients and their families can do to raise awareness regarding the necessity of an early diagnosis and availability of effective treatments - which will help improve the quality of life of millions of Americans. I am proud of the commitment shown by residents of this state and the city of Chicago to further raise awareness of these serious conditions."

The Annual Parkinson's Disease Educational Symposium sponsored by Northwestern University's Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center, a National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence, and Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Healthy Transitions(R) program will also showcase the Experience Center's Parkinson's disease and tremor devices on
Saturday, October 14.

Spearheaded by WE MOVE, the Life in Motion initiative was launched in 2005 and has united an unprecedented 53 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 was funded through an unrestricted educational grant from Allergan, Inc.

Life in Motion Resource Center

Additional information on movement disorders, diagnosis and treatment options can be found at the Life in Motion Resource Center at or by calling the automated toll-free number at 1-866-LIM-3136 (1-866-546-3136).

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.

About the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) is dedicated to helping people with all levels and types of physical disabilities live a fulfilling life. The Institute has been ranked the "#1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America" by U.S. News & World Report, every year since 1991 and is the first independent rehabilitation hospital in the country to receive the Magnet award for excellence in nursing services by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

RIC operates a flagship hospital in Chicago as well as a network of DayRehabCenters and Outpatient centers located throughout Chicago and surrounding suburbs. Additionally, RIC maintains strategic alliances with other high quality health care providers throughout the state of Illinois including Advocate Illinois Masonic; Alexian Brothers Hospital Network;
Blessing Hospital; RML Specialty Hospital; and Southern Illinois Healthcare. For more information, please visit our website at

About Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Northwestern Memorial Hospital is one of the country's premier academic medical centers and is the primary teaching hospital of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Northwestern Memorial and its Prentice Women's Hospital and Stone Institute of Psychiatry have 744 beds along with 1,424 affiliated physicians and 6,464 employees. Providing state-of-the-art care, Northwestern Memorial is recognized for its outstanding clinical and surgical advancements in such areas as cardiothoracic and vascular care, gastroenterology, neurology and neurosurgery, oncology, organ and bone marrow transplantation, and women's health.

Northwestern Memorial received the prestigious 2005 National Quality Health Care Award and is listed in six specialties in this year's U.S. News & World Report's issue of "America's Best Hospitals." The hospital has also been cited as one of the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" by Working Mother magazine for the past seven years and has been chosen by Chicagoans for more than a decade as their "most preferred hospital" in National Research Corporation's annual survey.


WE MOVE 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 Association of Neuroscience Nurses
American Association of Neurological Surgeons
American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
American Parkinson's Disease Association, Inc.
American Physical Therapy Association
American Stroke Association
Bachmann-Strauss Dystonia and 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 Disease Society of America
International Essential Tremor Foundation
International Rett Syndrome Association
Movement Disorder Society
Musicians with Dystonia
National Ataxia Foundation
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
On-Line SD Support Group
Parents of Infants and Children with
Parkinson Action Network
The Parkinson Alliance
Parkinson Association of the Carolinas
Parkinson Association of the Rockies
Parkinson's Disease Foundation, Inc.
Parkinson Foundation of the Heartland
Parkinson Pipeline Project
Parkinson Study Group
People Living with Parkinson's
Pediatric Neurotransmitter Disease
Huntington Study Group Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation
Rett Syndrome Research Foundation
Society for Progressive Supranuclear
Association Palsy, Inc.
Spasmodic Torticollis/Dystonia, Inc.
Spastic Paraplegia Foundation, Inc.
Tourette Syndrome Association, Inc.
Tremor Action Network
United Cerebral Palsy Research and
Educational Foundation
Well Spouse Association
Wilson's Disease Association