Causes and Risk Factors for Movement Disorders

Movement disorders occur as a result of damage or disease in a region located at the base of the brain (basal ganglia). The basal ganglia is comprised of clusters of nerve cells (neurons) that send and receive electrical signals and are responsible for involuntary movement. Movement disorders can result from the following:

  • Age-related changes
  • Environmental toxins
  • Genetic disorders (e.g., Huntington's disease, Wilson disease)
  • Medications (e.g., antipsychotic drugs)
  • Metabolic disorders (e.g., hyperthyroidism)
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Stroke

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 01 Jan 2000

Last Modified: 25 Sep 2015