Patient Information

What to Expect

At your visit to Columbia Neurology Movement Disorders practice, you can expect to Patients should expect to receive a comprehensive neurological examination from one of our neurologists, each of whom offers particular expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of movement disorders. Your initial examination will include a thorough review of your medical history, including detailed descriptions of family members who may also be affected with the same or related symptoms. It is important to know about any family history of disease, including symptoms, age of onset, causes, and age of death in siblings, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and first cousins. Such knowledge may provide the key to a diagnosis. If a pattern of symptoms or a family history suggests a genetic component of disease, a referral for genetic counseling and testing may be required.

We will seek to physically observe the problems you are having and characterize your difficulties. You may be asked to give us written permission to videotape your movement disorder, so that we may precisely record and review the problems you are experiencing. Often, when it comes to movement disorders, "a picture is worth a thousand words." This also enables us to consult with our fellow colleagues, as necessary, in order to reach the correct diagnosis.

Once a diagnosis is reached, together with you and your family, we will help you decide on the best possible therapies and treatment plan. In between visits, you are encouraged to call our center to ask questions and report changes. We welcome and encourage your participation in your ongoing care.

How to Prepare for A Telehealth Visit

Columbia Neurology now offers telehealth appointments through Columbia Virtual Visits. This service allows our movement disorders specialists to see you in the comfort of your own home. Roy Alcalay, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, and movement disorders specialist, discusses telemedicine and Parkinson’s disease, and provides helpful tips for virtual health appointments. In the below video, Dr. Alcalay shares advice on how patients can make the most out of their virtual visits.

Webinar with Dr. Roy Alcalay: “How can I benefit from telemedicine?”



At your visit, your neurologist can discuss the opportunity to participate in both state-of-the art observational research studies and clinical trials of the most advanced drugs in development.

Genetic Testing

You may be referred to our genetic counselor to review your family history, and to discuss your interest and the availability of genetic testing for your condition, and what the result of that genetic test means for you and your family members. Our Center is also a site for the PDGENERation. PD GENEration: Mapping the Future of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a national initiative that offers free genetic testing for clinically relevant PD-related genes and free genetic counseling to help participants better understand their results. The PD GENE study is open to people who have a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease and takes place at multiple Parkinson’s Foundation Centers of Excellence. At Columbia University, participation in this study will primary be through telemedicine appointments and at-home cheek swab collection kit. For further study eligibility information, please visit the PD GENEration website.