Neurology Services

Balance & Gait Disorders

Gait and balance disorders are common in older adults and are a major cause of falls in this population. They are associated with increased morbidity and mortality, as well as reduced level of function. Common causes include arthritis and orthostatic hypotension; however, most gait and balance disorders involve multiple contributing factors.

Most changes in gait are related to underlying medical conditions and should not be considered an inevitable consequence of aging. Physicians caring for older patients should ask at least annually about falls, and should ask about or examine for difficulties with gait and balance at least once.

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Electromyography & Nerve Conduction Studies

When your muscles are sore or weak and you don’t know why, there are a couple of tests that can help give you answers. One is electromyography (EMG). The other is a nerve conduction study (NCS). They are often done at the same time. Your doctor can use the results of these tests to figure out whether you have a muscular problem or a nerve problem.

Your muscles move when nerve signals from the brain tell them to get to work. Electromyography measures how well your muscles respond to those signals. If the test picks up a problem, you may be diagnosed with what is called a neuromuscular disorder.

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Migraine & Other Headache Disorders

In general terms, migraine attacks are experienced as a headache of at least moderate severity usually on one side of the head and occurring with other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and noise (though some people experience migraine without headache). The headache is usually made worse by physical activity.

Migraine attacks usually last from 4 to 72 hours and in most cases there is complete freedom from symptoms between attacks. Certain factors are involved in triggering an attack in those predisposed to migraine. These are usually called trigger factors and can include lifestyle, and hormonal changes.

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Movement Disorders

The term “movement disorders” refers to a group of nervous system (neurological) conditions that cause abnormal increased movements, which may be voluntary or involuntary. Movement disorders can also cause reduced or slow movements. Every body movement, from raising a hand to smiling, involves a complex interaction between the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), nerves, and muscles.

Damage to or malfunction of any of these components may result in a movement disorder. Different types of movement disorders can develop, depending on the nature and location of the damage or malfunction.

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Neuropsychology

Neuropsychology is the study of brain–behaviour relationships, and has traditionally utilised the classical lesion-based approach – relating focal brain damage to patterns of preserved and impaired cognitive functioning. In the majority of psychiatric disorders, however, focal brain lesions are rare, and the real challenge of neuropsychology in relation to psychiatry is to understand abnormal behaviour in terms of dysfunctional processing of information.

Over the past decade, however, neuropsychology has led to considerable advances in the study of psychiatric disorder, to the extent that neuropsychology is now seen as an essential discipline for the study of psychiatric disorder.

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Vagal Nerve Stimulator

Vagus nerve stimulation involves the use of a device to stimulate the vagus nerve with electrical impulses. An implantable vagus nerve stimulator is currently FDA-approved to treat epilepsy and depression. There’s one vagus nerve on each side of your body, running from your brainstem through your neck to your chest and abdomen.

In conventional vagus nerve stimulation, a device is surgically implanted under the skin on your chest, and a wire is threaded under your skin connecting the device to the left vagus nerve. When activated, the device sends electrical signals along the left vagus nerve to your brainstem, which then sends signals to certain areas in your brain. The right vagus nerve isn’t used because it’s more likely to carry fibers that supply nerves to the heart.

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