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Posts for: December, 2020

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
December 30, 2020
Category: Medical

Parkinson's disease affects thousands of Americans every year, and although there is currently no cure for it, there exist a variety of treatments that can help alleviate its debilitating symptoms. Your local experts of Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, can help guide you or your loved one toward the best available course of action.

Disease and Symptoms

Dopamine is an organic chemical that helps transmit signals in the brain between its parts. This transmission is responsible for a myriad of complex reinforcement and reward functions, as well as motor control. Hence some of Parkinson's disease's most notable symptoms, as the disease is characterized by a decrease in dopamine levels. The reason for it is dying off of the cells in the brain that produce it.

The symptoms are gradual but worsen with time. Motor skills are impacted, from walking, and talking, and any and all movement, and are often accompanied by shaking while at rest. These is known as tremors.

But mental and behavioral changes are also common, affecting memory, sleep, and mood.

The early symptoms of the disease may appear years before the more noticeable motor skills problems even arise.

Parkinson's Disease Treatment in Winchester, VA

Important to treating the symptoms of the disease are lifestyle changes that include proper rest, exercise, and a balanced diet. Consult with your doctor to find out what's appropriate for your own specific case, or your loved one's.

Alongside these changes therapy also plays a key role in helping you feel and act like yourself again. These include physical and perhaps speech therapy.

A variety of medication treatments are available and understanding which ones will better suit your needs will be up to your doctor. Although most often the drugs prescribed will work to help stabilize your dopamine levels as well as manage your symptoms.

A well known surgical treatment employed in battling tremors is called Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). Through the use of implanted electrodes, your surgeon is able to send out pulses which can help reduce these symptoms.

Schedule an appointment today to find out much more, and how your Winchester, VA, professionals can help you. Call Winchester Neurological Consultants by dialing (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
December 30, 2020
Category: Medical

Struggling with school or the inability to understand what your loved one is saying can be difficult. Knowing your unique strengths is key to developing great relationships and becoming more productive overall. The team at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, offers neurocognitive testing and therapy to help you develop your brain skills.

Understanding Neurocognitive Testing

Neurocognitive testing is a non-invasive approach that seeks to find any gaps in mental acuity, alertness, concentration, response, and other metrics.

This kind of testing tests how well your brain is working and to figure out which areas may need support and strengthening.

Some of the reasons why you may need neurocognitive testing are:

  • Brain fog -- the ability to focus on a specific topic or task for a long time.
  • Memory retention -- although some memory loss is associated with aging, rapid long term memory loss or the ability to recall things from your short term memory may be a cause for concern.
  • Mood swings and erratic behavioral responses -- trauma to the brain, changes in biochemistry, and other factors measured with various testing instruments.
  • Sudden changes in normal functioning -- maybe counting has become more difficult or reading for comprehension is now more challenging.
  • Assess mental development and learning ability

Benefits of Neurocognitive Testing

Medical professionals have been practicing neurocognitive testing long enough to establish a history of accuracy. This accuracy means there is less need for the patient to be exposed to radiation via brain scans and invasive surgery to observe a patient’s brain functioning. It is also often less time consuming, as well.

Examples of Neurocognitive Tests

  • Stroop Test
  • AB Test
  • Flanker Test

Interested in finding out more on how to develop your brain ability? Contact Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, at (540) 667-1828 to schedule an appointment and get more information on neurocognitive testing.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
December 23, 2020
Category: Health Conditions
Tags: Stroke  
Strokes can be life changing and their effect on your health far-reaching, but rapid treatment and prompt rehabilitation can make all the difference. You'll depend on your therapists, your loved ones, and your own willingness to work to regain what was threatened, and it all starts the moment the stroke first occurs. If you're at risk, please learn to recognize the warning signs and reach out to the specialists of Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, to become better informed about stroke prevention, treatment, and outlook.
A stroke happens when blood supply to the brain, and with it, oxygen, is interrupted and damage occurs. Rehabilitation is often possible because your brain can sometimes change the way it performs certain tasks, or another area of the brain may take over an affected one. If treatment was prompt and blood flow reestablished quickly, then cells can be saved and may eventually return to function.
The goal of rehabilitation treatments is to help you regain your independence through speech, occupational, and physical therapy.
Types of Therapy
It can be difficult to speak or even understand speech after a stroke. Through speech therapy, you may be able to relearn how to communicate, even through alternative means.
Occupational therapy helps you with all the everyday tasks that you may struggle with after a stroke. While physical therapy focuses on giving you back your strength and balance and helps you control muscle spasms, which are sometimes a side effect of a stroke.
Stroke Treatment in Winchester, VA
After you've had a stroke you are at high risk for another. They often recur for one in four of those who've suffered one. It becomes all the more important to treat the main causes of stroke, which can include heart disease, high blood pressure, and cholesterol, as well as diabetes and atrial fibrillation.
It's also imperative that you be aware of the symptoms of a stroke. Look out for the loss of balance, and headaches, accompanied by blurred vision, weakness in your ability to move your limbs, difficulty with speech, and if half of your face droops. Don't delay, contact an emergency number right away.
To learn more about your own risks, and to create a plan of action, make an appointment with your professionals at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA by dialing (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
December 14, 2020
Category: Health Conditions
Tags: Epilepsy  

Just diagnosed with epilepsy? Here’s what you should know about your treatment options.

Finding out that you or a loved one has epilepsy can be scary. Fortunately, our team of neurologists provides comprehensive care right here at their epilepsy and neurodevelopmental clinic in Winchester, VA. Here are the ways that we can treat your epilepsy.

Seizure Medications

Once our neurologists have performed the appropriate tests to detect epilepsy, we will then sit down with you and discuss your treatment options. The most common way to treat epilepsy is with medication. Of course, there are several types of medications on the market that can help control your seizures, and there are a number of factors that we will need to consider, including types of seizures and your age, that could determine which medications will be most effective.

When you receive your medication, our Winchester, VA, neurologists will provide you with detailed instructions on how to take your medication. It’s important that you follow these instructions exactly, as they can affect the efficacy of your treatment. The instructions will tell you when to take your medication, your dosage, what side effects are possible, when to follow-up with our doctors and whether you should take the medication with food or on an empty stomach.

Other Therapies and Treatment Options

Along with medications, there are other ways to control epilepsy. If medications aren’t effective but you would like to avoid brain surgery (or perhaps you’re simply not an ideal candidate for surgery), there are other options available. For example, vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is an electrical device that is placed under the skin and delivers electrical impulses to the brain to lessen the severity and frequency of your seizures.

It’s important that the medications and treatments you receive help to reduce the number and severity of your seizures. This is why it’s important to turn to a qualified team of neurologists here in Winchester, VA, that can work with you to find the right solutions. Let the team at Winchester Neurological Consultants make it easier to live with epilepsy. Call us today at (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
December 10, 2020
Category: Health Conditions

Managing your multiple sclerosis (MS) requires a partnership between you, your neurologist and other healthcare professionals. If you've been struggling with frequent MS attacks or worsening of your symptoms, your neurologists at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, can help you explore treatment options.

Treating MS

Dealing with MS symptoms and relapses can be challenging and frustrating. Fortunately, a variety of treatments and therapies can offer relief for common MS symptoms, including blurred or double vision, mood changes, numbness, muscle spasms, fatigue, dizziness and bladder control issues.

The treatment plan your neurologist prepares during your visit to the Winchester neurology office takes into account the type of MS you have, the severity of your symptoms, your lifestyle, and any other medical conditions you may have. You'll work together with your doctor to create a plan that improves your symptoms and your quality of life.

Treatment options may include:

  • Oral and Injectable Medications: A variety of drugs can decrease the risk of relapses and slow the progression of the disease. If one drug doesn't work well for you or causes unpleasant side effects, your neurologist can recommend another option.
  • Intravenous Infusions: Infusions of Tysabri are offered at the Winchester neurology office on a monthly basis. Tysabri infusions can reduce the severity of relapses and also decrease relapse frequency if you have a relapsing form of MS. In some cases, the medication may also improve your mental function.
  • Other Medications: Your neurologist can also prescribe medications to treat specific MS symptoms. Medications may relieve muscle stiffness and spasms, improve your walking speed, and treat insomnia, fatigue, and bowel or bladder issues.
  • Physical Therapy: Physical therapy sessions strengthen and stretch your muscles and may make it easier to manage gait, flexibility and balance problems.
  • Occupational Therapy: Your occupational therapist can teach you new ways to perform your usual daily activities and help you maintain your independence.

You may also benefit by making a few lifestyle changes. Eating a healthy diet, getting adequate exercise and sleep, and reducing stress may improve your health and help you decrease your risk of relapses.

Do you need help managing your MS? Call your Winchester, VA, neurologists at Winchester Neurological Consultants at (540) 667-1828 to schedule your appointment.