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Hoag Neurosciences Institute Expands World-Class Care to Hoag Health Center Irvine

By Orange County Register

August 20, 2016

Hoag is bringing the very best of Newport Beach to Irvine.

No, it’s not the surfing. Or the bike paths along the ocean. Or the beach volleyball. Instead, Hoag is expanding its renowned Neurosciences Institute to Hoag Health Center Irvine, ensuring that Irvine residents will enjoy the highest possible quality of life for many years to come.

The expansion of the Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute into Irvine gives South County residents access to neurosciences specialty services that currently distinguish Hoag in Newport Beach, including services to treat back pain, brain tumor, memory and cognitive disorders, neuropathy, headache, epilepsy, and sleep disorders.

“With our comprehensive approach to neurological issues, Hoag addresses the entire patient holistically,” saidMichael Brant-Zawadzki, M.D., F.A.C.R., executive medical director of Hoag Neurosciences Institute and the Ron and Sandi Simon Endowed Chair.

“Our measured, innovative approach helps restore patients to a higher quality of life,” Dr. Brant-Zawadzki said. “We are excited to be able to bring that level of sophistication and innovation to Irvine.”


Dr. Brant-Zawadzki thinks of the Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute the way he thinks of the brain: As the hub that allows so many important processes to occur. Whether a patient is experiencing memory loss, headache or motor skills impairment, our highly trained neurologists work together across neuroscience disciplines to help identify a treatment regimen and improve a patient’s quality of life.

“Like the brain itself, we are constantly learning, growing and building upon our experiences in every specialty we offer,” Dr. Brant-Zawadzki said. “Our multidisciplinary teams approach to serving our patients has allowed us to become a nationally recognized center for the treatment of disorders of the nervous system.”

Neck and Back Pain

Among the many specialties this expansion will bring to Irvine is the expert care of some of the most experienced and widely respected neurosurgeons in the country. Hoag’s specialists are particularly known for what they don’t do: Rush into back surgery.

Only 15 patients were found to need surgery out of the 400 seen during the first year of the Hoag Neurosurgery Spine Program, a comprehensive program created to treat patients in the most conservative and holistic way possible. Those that did require surgery were treated with minimally invasive techniques that Hoag affiliated surgeons have mastered.

“What we created at Hoag is a neuro-spine program that patients can call without fearing that they will be rushed into surgery,” said Burak M. Ozgur, M.D., chief of service for the Neurosurgical Spine Program at Hoag. “Many patients are referred to Hoag’s physical therapists, acupuncturists, pain managers and other specialists who work with the surgeons to help patients find the care that is right for them.”

Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

Irvine is a diverse city, known for its vitality and youth. But as its population matures, residents are finding themselves in need of diagnosis and treatment options for such degenerative conditions as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Under the leadership of William R. Shankle, M.D., M.S., M.D., F.A.C.P., the Judy & Richard Voltmer Endowed Chair in Memory and Cognitive Disorders, Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute will bring its nationally renowned care to patients and their families in Irvine and the surrounding community.

Dr. Shankle is recognized as a leader in using lifestyle changes and risk factor management to delay the onset of the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s by as much as 15 years, and dementia by 20 years.

“With early identification and proper treatment, we can make it possible for someone to live out his entire life without experiencing dementia,” Dr. Shankle said. “For patients who already have symptoms of the disease, new treatments in clinical trials are stabilizing the condition, stopping the progression of the disease.”

Tailor-Made Neuroscience

Hoag’s multidisciplinary approach allows our experienced teams to create diagnostic and treatment options and management strategies designed for each patient. This tailor-made approach is one reason our highly experienced neurologists and neurosurgeons serve as national leaders in the treatment of headache, brain tumors, epilepsy, cognitive disorders, concussions and other neurological issues.

“For years, Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute has strived to improve our patients’ quality of life by giving them expert care tailored to their individual needs,” Dr. Brant-Zawadzki said. “We are thrilled to bring Hoag’s level of quality care closer to the community here in Irvine.”