Torrance Memorial Movement Disorder Clinic Meets the Community's Care Needs

Published on April 01, 2022

Torrance Memorial Movement Disorder Clinic Meets the Community's Care Needs

Cedars-Sinai movement disorder specialist offers expert consultation for patients in the South Bay who are living with Parkinson's disease and other movement disorder conditions.

Shaky hand holding a glass cup

Written by Lisa Buffington

In January 2021, Torrance Memorial Medical Center opened a Movement Disorders Clinic for patients living with neurological conditions that cause abnormal, increased body movements.

Led by Echo Tan, MD, a fellowship-trained movement disorder specialist in the Department of Neurology at Cedars-Sinai, the clinic offers expert consultation for a full range of movement disorders, including:

  • Ataxia
  • Chorea
  • Dystonia
  • Essential tremor
  • Hemifacial spasm
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Tics
  • Tremor

Dr. Tan collaborates with each patient’s referring neurologist to develop a treatment plan that includes the latest therapies. With the addition of the Movement Disorder Clinic, Dr. Tan and the Torrance Memorial neurosciences team hope to help as many people as possible in the South Bay.

“The Movement Disorder Clinic is definitely meeting a need in our community,” said Heidi Assigal, Vice President Business and Operations, Torrance Memorial Physician Network. “For patients who are living with a movement disorder, traveling to an academic medical center for care may be challenging. That’s why we wanted to bring convenient, coordinated care from academic medical center experts closer to home.”

Advanced Treatments and Clinical Trials

Torrance Memorial’s affiliation with Cedars-Sinai gives patients access to all Cedars-Sinai treatments and clinical trials, which currently include six clinical trials for all stages of Parkinson’s disease.

“We can recruit patients from Torrance Memorial for clinical trials run by Cedars-Sinai, offering the latest, most-promising treatment options to patients in the South Bay,” said Dr. Tan.

Additionally, Torrance Memorial patients can access a surgical movement disorder treatment called deep brain stimulation (DBS) at Cedars-Sinai. During DBS, a neurosurgeon implants electrodes into specific areas of the brain to control abnormal brain activity. A pacemaker-like device in the upper chest is connected to the electrodes in the brain by a wire and can be programmed to control the amount of stimulation the brain receives.

“Patients who are candidates for DBS can have their pre-surgical evaluation and work-up performed at Torrance Memorial, go to Cedars-Sinai for the procedure and receive follow-up care back at Torrance Memorial,” said Dr. Tan.

Dr. Tan said the Movement Disorder Clinic has been so well-received in the community they are already hoping to expand the clinic’s hours. According to Assigal, that success is an indication the clinic is achieving its goal: Allowing patients to receive the advanced care they deserve locally — without the stress of travel, traffic, second opinions and multiple healthcare providers.

“When patients come to the Movement Disorders Clinic, all treatment options are available,” said Assigal. “Our patients can feel confident every treatment option that can be considered is being considered, and if they need additional care, it can be coordinated.”