Dr. Cynthia S. Reed, MD is a Movement Disorders Neurologist, specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative disorders that affect voluntary movement. She is particularly interested in improving the quality of life for patients with Parkinson’s disease. She serves the community by being a regular guest speaker for various Parkinson disease support groups around southern Arizona.
Dr. Reed stays current in her approach to the diagnosis and treatment of movement disorders by being an active member of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
Dr. Reed earned her medical degree from the University of Arizona College of Medicine. She completed her residency in Neurology at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, and then stayed on at the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center and Movement Disorders Clinic to complete a two-year clinical fellowship in clinical movement disorders and deep brain stimulation. She was first board certified in neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in 2008, and again board certified by the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons starting in 2018.
Movement Disorders are neurological conditions that affect your body’s ability to move normally. Either voluntary movements are too slow, too small, or lacking (but without true weakness), or there is an excess of abnormal involuntary movements. The former is also referred to as hypokinesia, and the latter as hyperkinesia. Examples of hypokinesia include bradykinesia and rigidity (as seen in Parkinson’s disease), stiff-muscles, and hesitant gaits. Examples of hyperkinesia include tremors, chorea, restless legs, and tics. Some movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, can have both hypokinesia and hyperkinesia simultaneously.
Movement disorders can be difficult to diagnose correctly as they are primarily diagnosed by careful observation rather than laboratory or imaging tests. Movement disorder specialists have much greater experience in observation than general neurologists, and therefore are more likely to give a correct diagnosis. During observation, the movements are categorized, which aids in making a correct diagnosis. Examples of hyperkinetic categories are rhythmic vs arrhythmic, sustained vs non-sustained, episodic vs continual or continuous, sleep vs awake, and patterned vs non-patterned. Sometimes, laboratory tests or images will be done to identify or rule out an underlying cause of the movement disorder. Treatments are recommended if the abnormal movements are troublesome. Treatment usually involves medications, but sometimes surgery can augment medications or provide benefits that medications cannot provide. The choice of medication is generally based on the category of abnormal movements. The side effects of medications are also considered, as sometimes the "side effects" can be desirable (e.g. sleepiness for an insomniac).