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December 26, 2019

Pacific Movement Disorders Center 2019: Year in Review

by Guest Author

2019 has been a great year. It is also the end of the decade. While the Pacific Movement Disorders Center is only four years old, in these short years we have gotten to know our patients and their families’ needs. It is with this understanding and listening that we are proud to provide you the excellent and holistic care to which we are committed.

This year, our commitment to excellence has ushered in key programs that have brought knowledge, support, and even fun to the recipients of our care. Here is an update of our Movement Disorder Center offerings and accomplishments in 2019.

Clinical Trials & Research

  • Successful completion of PROSPECT trial, aiding in the development of the Cala Trio, a non-invasive neuro-modulation device, as treatment for essential tremor (ET). PNI was in the top five in early recruitment out of 30 sites in the United States. Findings from PROSPECT were presented at Movement Disorders Congress in Nice, France.
  • Active recruitment for ASCEN-DLB trial. This is a 16 week, double-blind, placebo-controlled study assessing the cognitive effects of the oral P38 alpha kinase inhibitor Niflamapimod for Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB). This study is open to those with a probable diagnosis of DLB, over 55 years of age, with a positive DaTscan, who are currently receiving anti-cholinesterase inhibitor for at least 3 months.
  • Further research possibilities for 2020 include novel formulations of carbidopa/levodopa, an mGluR5 antagonist for levodopa-induced dyskinesias, and a D1/D5 partial agonist for PD motor symptoms.

Community Outreach

  • Partnership with America Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) to serve as an Information & Referral Center, bringing grant funding for a center social worker (Sheila Moore). Sheila is a licensed clinical social worker that provides assistance to patients and their families to help increase their ability to cope and regain a sense of control by offering counseling, needs assessment, and referrals to community based programs. This collaboration with APDA will promote better direction and utility of resources available for the patient and their families.
  • Initiation of Parkinson’s Roadmap to Education and Support Services (PRESS) program in collaboration with ADPA, an eight-week program targeting newly diagnosed PD patients for education and structured support group meetings. This is an immersive program to help people with Parkinson’s (PwP) and their care partners learn the basics of PD and to help them prepare and navigate the complexities of the condition. This is moderated by Sheila and Giselle Tamula, NP. This program will be initiated in the South Bay in 2020.
  • Symposium highlighting the importance of Engagement and Connection planned for 2020.
  • Ongoing monthly PD support group Life in Motion moderated by Giselle, with plan for additional support group in the South in 2020.
  • Art Cart, an event for creativity and expression through the arts for Parkinson’s Disease patients.
  • Frequent talks to the community given by Drs. Langevin, Petrossian, and Diaz. These talks serves as a platform for information for PD patients in the community. Dr. Petrossian spoke about advances in research and care and updates from the recent Movement Disorder Conference at the Parkinson’s Community Los Angeles (PCLA) event. Likewise, she had an opportunity to speak with our nurses on the Neuroscience annual conference regarding PD and the unique and specific care needed by patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Clinical Growth

  • Recruitment of Natalie Diaz, MD, a board certified movement disorder neurologist. Dr. Diaz is based at Little Company of Mary in Torrance, thereby increasing accessibility to high quality movement disorders care in the South Bay.
  • First implantation of Boston Scientific DBS at LCM Torrance, with all three platforms (Medtronic, Abbott, and Boston Scientific) now available for implantation.
  • Implementation of Best Practice Advisory and change in order sets in Epic across Providence St Joseph Health System to minimize administration of contraindicated medications to hospitalized PD patients.

As we end the year, and welcome a new decade, we renew our enthusiasm and dedication to our patients, their family, and the community, to provide care that looks at the individual with meticulous eyes, a sharp brain, and a listening heart. Watch out for more exciting events from your Pacific Movement Disorder Center team in 2020!

For more information or to schedule a consultation contact our clinics:
Santa Monica | 310-528-7433
Torrance | 424-212-5361

Giselle Tamula NP

Giselle Therese U. Tamula, MSN, NP-C, is a certified nurse practitioner with extensive clinical experience. A dedicated caregiver, she brings her competent and compassionate care of patients to the Pacific Movement Disorders Center at Pacific Neuroscience Institute.

Melita Petrossian, MD

Melita Petrossian, MD, is Director of Pacific Movement Disorders Center and is a fellowship-trained neurologist with clinical interests and expertise in movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia, gait disorders, ataxia, myoclonus, blepharospasm, hemifacial spasm, Meige syndrome, spasticity, tics, and Tourette’s syndrome. She also specializes in Parkinson’s-related conditions such as Dementia with Lewy Bodies, progressive supranuclear palsy, multiple system atrophy, corticobasal degeneration, primary freezing of gait, and Parkinson’s disease dementia.

Last updated: April 24th, 2020