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Bringing Innovation – and Reassurance – to Movement Disorders Patients

Movement disorders are not only challenging, they’re scary. What starts as tremors can sometimes build slowly to a significantly disabling and debilitating disorder.

As part of the acclaimed Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute at Hoag, the Movement Disorders Program helps alleviate fears and provides modern treatment, thus giving patients control of their lives to achieve the highest quality of life possible.

Through extensive education and comprehensive, customized best practice treatment and counseling plans, the Institute’s Movement Disorders Program approaches patient care holistically, innovatively and effectively.

For example, Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute is home to some of the latest drug therapies, surgical options, rehabilitation and restoration methodologies and other support services for movement disorders. These innovations, supported by philanthropy, translate into extraordinary care.

“Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute has, rightly, developed a significant reputation for going the extra mile for patients,” said neurologist Saulena Shafer, D.O., who recently joined the program. “I am very excited to be a part of the Hoag team.”

Dr. Shafer brings extensive experience to a program that is already on the cutting age of movement disorder medicine. Hoag stays at the forefront of patient management aimed at controlling symptoms and slowing the progression of disease.

The program treats Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, essential tremor and gait problems, working with patients to help them maintain their highest level of independence possible.

The Movement Disorders Program also involves patients and their families as part of the multidisciplinary team. Patients and their caregivers undergo a comprehensive evaluation and assessment to develop an individualized treatment plan. Treatment usually involves medications and rehabilitation therapy. However, if side effects become intolerable, or for tremors that are resistant to medication, minimally invasive surgery offers an alternative solution.

“The most well-known surgical intervention is deep brain stimulation, in which tiny electrodes are implanted in the brain to regulate abnormal activity. We have also been treating patients with the Duopa™ Dopamine pump, which allows us to control and fine-tune medication to the tiniest milligram to get the best therapy possible,” said Sandeep Thakkar, D.O., program director of the Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Program at the Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute at Hoag. “Many other treatments are on the horizon.”

Information about innovative new therapies is shared at monthly multidisciplinary case conference, at which physicians, nurses, physical therapists, speech therapists, and other health care professionals review complex patient cases. Patients benefit from this combined expertise and experience, Dr. Thakkar said: “Having information and a hope for the future – hopefully – makes movement disorders less scary.”

For more information, call 888-298-1051.