Movement Disorders Center

Movement disorders are composed of disorders affecting movement.  Sometimes there can be too much movement as with tremors and other times there can be too little movement as with Parkinson’s disease.  Disorders commonly seen by a Movement Disorders specialist include Parkinson’s disease, tremors, ataxia and dystonia.  These disorders appear to involve parts of the brain known as the basal ganglia and cerebellum.

The Department of Neurology applies an integrated, multidisciplinary team approach to treat and diagnose movement disorders. At Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC), patients undergo comprehensive evaluation that allows our neurologists to make an accurate diagnosis. Specialists also collaborate with experts within other medical departments such as neurosurgery, to make sure every aspect of a patient’s disorder and treatment have been evaluated. This rigorous approach to evaluating patients allows our specialists to develop unique treatment plans dedicated to relieving pain and managing symptoms so that each patient can preserve their quality of life. Our Movement Disorders specialists are dedicated to promoting research for the purpose of understanding the disease states and to develop new treatments.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive movement disorder that affects brain cells that produce the chemical dopamine.  These brain cells are located in the basal ganglia which influences or regulates movement.  People who are affected by Parkinson’s disease have tremor, slowness in their movements and stiffness.  They have trouble walking.  Balance can be affected and they can fall.  There are other non-motor symptoms that are present as well including depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, constipation and a reduction in the sense of smell.  Treatment with medications, exercise and sometimes surgery such as with Deep Brain Stimulation can be helpful for those with Parkinson’s disease.


Tremors can be disabling interfering with daily activities such as eating, pouring liquid, shaving or applying makeup.  Many times tremors can be treated with medications and surgery such as Deep Brain Stimulation can be performed to allow for a better quality of life.


Ataxia is a disorder affecting the part of the brain known as the cerebellum.  The cerebellum controls balance and coordination.  Disorders of ataxia can have several causes including hereditary forms.  Ataxia produces problems with walking, picking up objects and can interfere with activities of daily living such as feeding, dressing and caring for oneself.  Currently, treatment of ataxia is limited.


Dystonia is a neurological condition producing abnormal, prolonged twisted postures.  It can affect skeletal muscle and can occur in the eyes with eye closure as in blepharospasm, facial muscles and the neck as in cervical dystonia, trunk or extremities.  Sometimes it can affect the entire body.  Patients with dystonia can be severely disabled or very mildly affected.  This condition can be very painful.  Unfortunately, medications do not usually treat dystonia very well.  However, botulinum toxin injections can be very helpful to restore the normal posture.  These injections can be helpful for the pain associated with dystonia as well.

Conditions Treated

Procedures Performed

  • Botulinum toxin injection
  • Deep brain stimulator evaluation and adjustment

Movement Disorders Team

Director: Khashayar Dashtipour, MD, PhD
Karen Frei, MD
Janice Fuentes, MD
Farzin Pedoium, MD
Sandra Estrada, MN, RN, FNP-C

Contact Us

Loma Linda University Medical Center
Department of Neurology
11370 Anderson Street, Suite B100
Loma Linda, CA 92354

For appointments or referrals, please call 909-558-2880.