Department of  Neurosurgery
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Call Us: (314) 362-3636

Movement Disorders / Functional

Washington University neurosurgeons offer the only surgical program for movement disorders in Missouri.

Our neurosurgeons in the Barnes-Jewish and Washington University Neuroscience Center are nationally recognized for their treatment of movement disorders. The multidisciplinary team specializes in the treatment of movement disorders such as:

  • Ataxia
  • Catatonia
  • Dystonia
  • Essential Tremor
  • Huntington's disease
  • Myoclonus
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Tourette syndrome


For some patients with Parkinson’s disease or essential tremor, medications are often inadequate to control disabling symptoms. These patients may benefit from stereotactic neurosurgical procedures to improve their function.

The most common neurosurgical procedures performed for movement disorders by neurosurgeons at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis are

  • pallidotomy
  • thalamotomy
  • thalamic deep brain stimulation
  • subthalamic deep brain stimulation

Our Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) team is one of the most experienced DBS teams in the country. The Neuroscience Center also is ranked among the Top Five Centers in the United States for the number of DBS procedures performed annually. For both subthalamic deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease and thalamic deep brain stimulation for essential tremor, surgeons use stereotactic techniques — combining a three-dimensional framing system with imaging modalities — to precisely locate targets deep within the brain. In some cases, microelectrode recording helps verify the target.

A less invasive option is Gamma Knife Radiosurgery, in which radiation beams precisely target the desired area of the brain to create a lesion without incisions.


Neurosurgery Providers

Neurology Providers

  • James E. Galvin, MD
  • Joel S. Perlmutter, MD
  • Brad A. Racette, MD
  • Kevin J. Black, MD
  • Susan Criswell, MD
  • Marc Diamond, MD
  • Morvarid Karimi, MD
  • Paul Kotzbauer, MD, PhD
  • Brad A. Racette, MD
  • Bradley L. Schlaggar, MD, PhD
  • Samer Tabbal, MD
  • W. Thomas Thach MD
  • Allison W. Willis, MD

Make an Appointment

Movement disorder patients should be referred to the Movement Disorders Center in the Department of Neurology for initial evaluation. Please call (314) 362-6908.