Neurology

At Westchester Health, our Department of Neurology contains board trained and certified physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the nervous system.

Our neurologists all have extensive experience in their field, using the latest technology and techniques to treat and provide the highest quality care for a wide range of diseases of the brain, spine and the nerves that connect them, including brain tumors, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, stroke, seizures, spinal cord injury, concussion and dementia.

Prevention as well as treatment

At Westchester Health, our focus is not only on the evaluation and treatment of neurological disorders but also on preventative care. In addition to providing the highest quality of neurological care, we also focus on educating you and your family about lifestyle changes you can make to control, improve or even eradicate your neurological disorder.

What makes Westchester Health’s Neurology Department different?

At Westchester Health, we firmly believe that good treatment starts with good listening. We also believe that the best patient is an informed patient, and that patient education is critical to your long-term health.

From the first time you arrive at our offices, we spend as much time with you and your family as is necessary to make sure you understand your condition, the diagnostic tests we are recommending and all of your treatment options. Throughout your journey with us, we will continue to explain our recommended course of treatment and answer any questions you may have so that you understand what to expect.

Whether you have been with Westchester Health for years or are new to our practice, you quickly recognize that our Neurology group truly cares about each and every one of our patients. When you need us, we are here for you.

Always at the forefront of medicine

The world of medicine continues to change and evolve, especially regarding neurology. As part of Northwell Health, our neurologists participate in its Department of Neurology training programs, making sure they are continually up-to-date on the newest breakthrough treatments for our patients’ neurological disorders.

You Have Access to Two Stroke Centers

We are very proud that two of our partner hospitals, Northern Westchester Hospital and Phelps Hospital, are Stroke Centers, qualification reserved for facilities that provide state-of-the-art care for patients diagnosed with a stroke. We have a dedicated stroke unit staffed by our highly trained team that works closely with physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants in emergency medicine, critical care medicine, neurosurgery, neuro-endovascular surgery and neuroradiology to perform the most advanced procedures for the prevention and revascularization of acute strokes, as well as epilepsy. Our stroke program is also supported by out-patient and in-patient rehabilitation services.

Neurologists are experts at treating a variety of neurological disorders, including:

ALS

Chronic Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive motor neuron disease affecting the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, resulting in lack of muscle control and muscle atrophy. In 90% of cases, there are no known causes of ALS. People with ALS experience muscle weakness and loss of coordination that gradually gets worse. Often the early signs of this disease include twitching and muscle cramps, especially in the hands and feet, progressing to tripping or falling spells and slurred speech. At this time, there is no treatment or cure for ALS but there are medications that will help with symptoms, along with palliative care to increase comfort.

Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys cognitive functioning—thinking, remembering and reasoning memory and thinking— eventually leaving people unable to carry out even simple tasks. It’s estimated that more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, with symptoms usually appearing in their mid-60s. In the most severe stage, people with Alzheimer’s must depend completely on others for basic activities of daily living. There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s but current treatments focus on helping people maintain mental function, manage behavioral symptoms and slow down memory loss.

Cerebral palsy

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a neurological disorder resulting from brain damage caused by brain injury or abnormal brain development before birth, during birth or immediately after birth. CP affects body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. It can also impact fine motor skills, gross motor skills and oral functioning. CP can affect arms, legs, the face, one limb, several limbs or all of them. Other complications, such as intellectual impairment, seizures, and vision or hearing impairment also commonly accompany CP. It is non-progressive (will not get worse), non-life-threatening and incurable, but treatment and therapy help manage its effects on the body.

Migraine

Much more severe than a normal headache, a migraine is characterized by moderate to severe pounding head pain that can last from 2-72 hours. Accompanying symptoms can include nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light, sound or smell. It is estimated that more than 36 million Americans get migraines, with women experiencing them 3 times more often than men. Doctors don’t know the exact causes of migraines but many now think that they occur because of genetically-inherited flaws in the brain. Common migraine triggers include stress, certain food additives such as nitrates and MSG, caffeine, changes in weather, menstruation, fatigue, skipping meals and sleep changes. To relieve the pain of migraines, medications include OTC pain relievers, triptans, anti-nausea medications, opioids and glucocorticoids.

Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder and the most common movement disorder. Characteristics of Parkinson’s disease are progressive loss of muscle control, trembling of the limbs and head while at rest, stiffness, slowness and impaired balance. As symptoms worsen, it may become difficult for a person to walk, talk and complete simple tasks. Most people with Parkinson's disease are diagnosed in their 60s or older, but early-onset Parkinson's disease also occurs. There is currently no cure but several therapies are available that delay the onset of motor impairment and decrease the symptoms.

Stroke

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. When someone has a stroke, there is a short window of time to minimize brain damage and potential complications. The good news is that strokes can be treated and prevented, and many fewer Americans die of stroke now than in the past. Symptoms of a stroke include a sudden severe headache, confusion, trouble speaking or seeing, and/or numbness or weakness, especially on only one side of the body. Factors that increase your likelihood of having a stroke include being overweight or obese, inactivity, heavy drinking, drug use, high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and a family history of stroke. Prevention includes lowering your cholesterol and blood pressure, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, controlling diabetes, exercising regularly, stopping drug use and regulating alcohol intake.

At our two Stroke Centers, at Northern Westchester Hospital and Phelps Hospital, our stroke team is highly experienced at performing the latest, most innovative procedures for the prevention and revascularization of acute strokes. Our stroke program also offers out-patient and in-patient rehabilitation services.

We also treat the following neurological conditions:

  • Arteriovenous malformation
  • Back pain
  • Bell's palsy
  • Birth defects of the brain and spinal cord
  • Brain aneurysm
  • Brain injury
  • Brain tumor
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Concussion
  • Dementia
  • Disk disease of neck and lower back
  • Dizziness
  • Dural arteriovenous fistulae
  • Epilepsy
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Headache
  • Memory disorders
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Neuralgia
  • Neuropathy
  • Neuromuscular and related diseases
  • Pain management
  • Post-herpetic neuralgia
  • Scoliosis
  • Seizures
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Spinal deformity
  • Spinal disorder (subacute combined degeneration)
  • Spine tumor
  • Vertigo

 

To learn more, please read our blogs on these subjects.

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