Novomed’s neurosciences program cares for patients who suffer from various neurological disorders, such as migraines, epilepsy, dementia, cerebrovascular disease, demyelinating disease, peripheral neuropathy, neuromuscular junction disorders, and other common neurological disorders.
In our approach, we focus on the fact that patients recover best when they are supported from the start of their treatment right through to recovery and rehabilitation.
Neurology is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the nervous system. A Neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing and treating diseases of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves and muscles. A Neurologist manages conditions including:
- Headache and migraine
- Transient ischemic attacks and stroke
- Multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases
- Tumors of the nervous system
- Infections of the nervous system
- Peripheral nerve disease
- Neuromuscular diseases
- Movement disorders
- Sleep disorders
- Neurological trauma
Almost everyone can experience occasional headaches, pain or other neurological symptoms but they are not necessarily due to a serious neurological condition. However, should you experience any of the following symptoms, you should consider consulting a neurologist:
- Severe or worsening headaches/migraines, and headaches associated with unusual symptoms such as visual loss, weakness or seizures
- Acute or chronic pain, neck or low back pain associated with tingling or numbness in your limbs, or bladder or bowel dysfunction
- Loss of sensation (numbness), tingling, pins and needles or muscle weakness
- Poor coordination, loss of balance or falls, dizziness
- Episodes of loss of consciousness or seizures
- Memory problems, confusion, disorientation, change in personality
- Movement issues including difficulty walking, slowness of movement, tremors
- Vision problems including double vision, loss of vision, drooping of the eyelids
- Sleeping problems
Are all Headaches Treated the Same?
There are many different types of headaches – for example, chronic and episodic tension headaches, migraines, and sinus headaches – each with its own triggers and treatment options. Our specialists will work with you to diagnose the type and causes, and provide relief for your symptoms.
What does ‘chronic pain’ mean?
While acute pain is a normal nervous-system response to alert you to possible injury and the need to protect yourself, chronic pain is different. It lasts for weeks, months, or even years, and has a variety of causes. There might have been an initial problem that sparked the pain, for example a sprained back; there might be an ongoing cause such as arthritis or cancer; or, in some cases, there might not even be any injury or evidence of body damage. Common complaints include lower back pain, headaches, cancer pain, arthritis pain, psychogenic pain (with no past disease, injury or visible damage inside or outside the nervous system), and neurogenic pain (caused by damage to the central nervous system or peripheral nerves).
How is it treated?
Commonly prescribed treatments include medicines, acupuncture, local electrical stimulation, and brain stimulation, psychotherapy, surgery and biofeedback. Our specialists will work together with you to determine the most appropriate form of treatment.
What is Brain Cancer?
Brain cancer is a disease in which cancer cells, known as malignant cells, arise in the brain tissue. Cancer cells grow to form a mass of tissue known as a malignant tumor, which interferes with the functions controlled by the brain, for example, sensation and muscle control. Cancer cells that develop from brain tissue are called primary brain tumors. If cancer develops somewhere else in the body and spreads (metastasizes) to the brain, it’s called a secondary brain tumor, or metastatic brain cancer. Secondary brain tumors are more common than primary brain tumors. It is important to remember that tumors aren’t necessarily cancerous; those composed of mainly noncancerous cells are called benign tumors.
What are Brain Cancer Symptoms and Signs?
Statistics suggest that brain cancer occurs infrequently (in the US, 1.4% of all new cancer patients have brain cancer, for example), so it is not considered a common illness. The symptoms vary widely. In addition, symptoms that could indicate a brain tumor also occur in people who do not have brain cancer.
Brain cancer symptoms are classified as either general or specific. A general symptom is caused by the pressure the tumor places on the brain or spinal cord. General symptoms vary widely and include seizures, memory loss, headaches, myoclonic movements (single or multiple muscle twitch, jerks and spasms) and sensory changes. Specific symptoms are the result of a certain part of the brain not working properly because of the tumor. Examples of specific symptoms are poor balance and impaired fine motor skills when there is a tumor in the cerebellum.
How is Brain Cancer Diagnosed and Treated?
After a thorough interview that includes medical history and a physical examination, our specialists will determine if specific tests need to be done.
A treatment plan is individualized for each patient and treatments vary widely depending on the cancer type, tumor size, brain location, and also the patient’s age, general health and wishes.
What is Cerebrovascular Disease?
Cerebrovascular disease refers to a group of conditions that affect the brain’s blood supply and common forms include subarachnoid hemorrhages, strokes and transient ischemic attacks (mini-strokes).
What are the Symptoms and Treatment?
The signs and symptoms depend on where the damage or blockage is, and how much of the cerebral tissue is affected. While different events can have different effects, common symptoms include a severe and sudden headache, weakness or paralysis on one side, difficulty communicating (including slurred speech), confusion, loss of half of vision, loss of balance, and unconsciousness. If someone is showing signs of a cerebrovascular event, immediate medical-emergency assistance should be sought. Treatment will depend on the nature of the attack or damage.
What are Movement Disorders?
There are many types of movement disorders and treatment will depend on your diagnosis. Our specialists will work with you to determine the best course of action. Examples of movement disorders are:
Ataxia is a degenerative disorder affecting the spinal cord, brain or brain stem. Ataxia suffers lack muscle control, which can cause poor balance and coordination, and possibly a disturbance in their gait. Ataxia can affect any part of the body such as limbs, fingers, speech, body, or even eye movements.
Dystonia is a neurological muscle disorder with a variety of manifestations. The underlying problem is that the main muscles needed for a movement are over-active; muscles not needed for movement are activated; and the simultaneous activation of muscles that work against each other.
Essential tremor is trembling or uncontrolled shaking, usually of one or both arms or hands, that worsens when you attempt basic movements like eating, drinking or writing. It is a progressive, often-inherited disorder that usually manifests in later adulthood.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder caused by the degeneration of nerve cells in the substantia nigra – that part of the brain that controls movement. These nerve cells become impaired or die, losing their ability to produce dopamine. Common Parkinson’s symptoms include muscle rigidity or stiffness of the limbs; tremors; gradual loss of spontaneous movement, often leading to decreased mental skill or reaction time, gradual loss of automatic movement, often leading to voice changes or decreased blinking or facial expressions; drooling or a decreased frequency of swallowing; a stooped, flexed posture, with bending at the knees, hips and elbows; unsteady balance; and dementia or depression.
Atypical Parkinsonisms can produce symptoms similar to those of Parkinson’s, but that do not respond to typical Parkinson’s disease medication.
What is multiple sclerosis?
In multiple sclerosis (MS), your immune system attacks your myelin – the fatty material that wraps around your nerve fibers to protect them. Without this protective outer shell, nerves become damaged and scar tissue may form.
MS is a long-term disease that can affect your brain, optic nerves and spinal cord. It can cause poor muscle control, and problems with balance, vision, and other normal body functions, and symptoms vary greatly. Some people’s symptoms are so mild that they don’t need any treatment, while others will have trouble getting around and performing everyday tasks. Multiple sclerosis symptoms include loss of vision, prolonged double vision, numbness or weakness in one or more limb, tingling or pain, fatigue, dizziness, lured speech, tremors, problems with bowel and bladder function, and electric-shock sensations that occur with certain neck movements.
How can treatment help?
Treatment typically focuses on speeding up the recovery from attacks, retarding the disease’s progression, and managing symptoms. Along with treatment such as medication, you can do other things to ease your MS symptoms, for example, exercising regularly, avoiding heat, and looking after your emotional health.