My Blog
By Winchester Neurological Consultants
December 30, 2019
Category: Medical
Tags: Memory Care  

Here at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, Dr. Mariecken Fowler operates the Memory Care Clinic. She completed a fellowship in Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology at the University of Virginia, and now provides comprehensive assessments of cognitive complaints at our clinic.

During appointments, she evaluates the root of memory issues, which could be a result of medical issues, medications, sleep disorders, mood disorders, or neurological diseases. These evaluations may also entail the use of a variety of tests to figure out your memory problem, including neuroimaging (MRIs and CT scans), neuropsychological testing, sleep studies (polysomnogram), and screening tests for mood disorders. These tests help Dr. Fowler determine the problem and find ways to optimize daily functioning.

A memory disorder like Dementia is sometimes confusing to patients and families, which is why your doctor aims to simplify and educate patients. She diagnoses different disorders (e.g. Alzheimer ’s disease, Vascular Dementia, Frontotemporal Dementia, etc.) explains what they are, and discusses treatment options. In follow-up appointments, she can also assist patients in setting expectations for future needs, monitor the disease progression, and provide guidance on both medication options and local resources.

There are many other ways to learn more about different memory problems and diseases. If you want more information about services supporting patients, here are a few links to follow:

The memory clinic in Winchester, VA, is an excellent resource for people suffering from memory issues. Dr. Mariecken Fowler provides patients and their families with tests, education, and treatment options. If you'd like to learn more from Winchester Neurological Consultants, call us at (540) 667-1828 today!

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
December 26, 2019
Category: Sleep Disorders
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

How your doctors in Winchester, VA, can help you

Occasional snoring can be a common occurrence, but if you have been told that you snore loudly every night, it could be a sign of something more serious—sleep apnea. Truthfully, sleep apnea is a serious condition that can seriously shorten your life, necessitating prompt treatment from the experts. Fortunately, the doctors here at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, offer a wide range of medical services, including several treatment options to manage your sleep apnea.

More about Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is caused by the tissue at the back of your throat relaxing while you sleep. The relaxed tissue blocks your airway, resulting in a lack of oxygen to your vital organs, including your brain. When your vital organs don’t receive enough oxygen, it can increase your risk of having a stroke, experiencing a heart attack, developing Alzheimer’s disease, and acquiring a number of other serious medical problems.

When you have sleep apnea, you will typically experience:

  • Morning headaches
  • Suddenly waking up gasping or choking
  • Waking up with a sore throat
  • Daytime sleepiness or grogginess

If you think that you may have sleep apnea, you should undergo diagnostic screening and testing from the doctors here at Winchester Neurological Consultants. They will determine how severe your sleep apnea is, and develop a comprehensive treatment plan that may include one of the following treatment options:

  • An oral mandibular advancement appliance, which is a custom-made dental appliance you wear as you sleep; the appliance moves your lower jaw forward, maintaining an open airway throughout the night. The oral appliance is easy to wear, easy to maintain, and it is small and highly portable.
  • A continuous positive air pressure device known as a CPAP, which is the most common treatment for sleep apnea; the device contains a mask that fits over your nose and mouth. The mask connects to tubing which is attached to a machine that supplies a continuous flow of air as you sleep. The CPAP is easy to clean and portable.

Concerned? Give Us a Call

Sleep apnea is serious, and requires the services of a professional. To learn more about sleep apnea and how your doctors can help, call the doctors at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, today by dialing (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
December 20, 2019
Category: Medical
Tags: Strokes  

According to the National Stroke Association, "strokes kill more than 137,000 Americans each year," making them the fourth leading cause in death after heart disease, lung diseases, and the different forms of cancer. Fortunately, here at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, we provide patients with the care and education they need to understand the risks concerning this condition—read on for a brief overview on this subject.

What types of strokes are there?

  • Transient ischemic attack: This warning stroke is a ministroke that temporarily blocks blood flow to the brain for a short period of time due to a blood clot.
  • Ischemic stroke: This is when a blood clot prevents blood from flowing to the brain and is usually the result of an atherosclerosis (i.e. a buildup of fatty deposits).
  • Hemorrhagic stroke: This happens when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures or breaks, which results in blood seeping into the surrounding tissues.

What is a warning stroke?

Stroke warnings are called transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) and they warn people of an oncoming stroke. People suffer from episodes of chest pain warning them of a heart attack. These episodes vary in length of time, from a few minutes to one hour. If the episode runs longer, this means you may suffer from a mild stroke.

What are the signs of a stroke?

  • Sudden weakness in face, arm, or leg on one side of the body
  • Sudden or gradual loss of vision in one eye
  • Loss or trouble in speech
  • Sudden severe headache
  • Sudden difficulty walking
  • Unexplained dizziness or unsteadiness
  • Other symptoms include: sudden nausea, confusion, seizures, vomiting, fainting, or coma

If a loved one is suffering from a stroke, you need to call 911 immediately.

Concerned? Give us a call

If you have any questions about strokes, be sure to contact your Winchester, VA, doctor today by dialing (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
December 04, 2019
Category: Migraines
Tags: migraines  

Do you suffer from painful migraine headaches? Literally millions of Americans do, and here at Winchester Neurological Consultants in MigrainesWinchester, VA, our five physicians and their team of compassionate experts help people control their migraine headaches. Read on to learn more about this puzzling, often debilitating condition and how we can help.


What is a migraine?

The National Headache Foundation says that migraines are brain-based, caused by an imbalance of naturally-occurring chemicals. They may begin as a low-grade ache in one area of the head and then progress to intense, widespread, throbbing pain.


My migraines last about four or five hours. Is this typical?

Healthline says migraines last anywhere from four to 72 hours. They progress through fairly distinct phases, and as they resolve, they leave patients feeling quite fatigued. Weakness and confusion often accompany this recovery phase, as well.


My vision acts up with my migraines. What's going on?

Vision often blurs as a migraine starts. However, some people have what's called ocular migraines which express with little to no pain but cause distressing visual disturbances such as temporary blindness, zig-zag lines, stars or spots.


Can food and activity trigger migraines?

Yes, they can. Too much physical activity, lack of sleep, consumption of red wine, cheese, chocolate, and more may initiate migraines. The American Migraine Foundation reports that stress commonly triggers these headaches. A small percentage of migraine sufferers experience a warning that a headache is developing. This warning is called an aura—an unusual visual, tactile or auditory disruption.


How can my headaches be controlled?

Self-care is an important part of migraine management. Here at our Winchester, VA, office, we will assist you in identifying your triggers and will develop a treatment plan to control them. Some over-the-counter medications reduce pain and other symptoms. Additionally, cold compresses, sitting or resting in a darkened room, and massaging your temples/forehead may help. Your neurologist may recommend prescription medications, such as beta-blockers, or even injections of BOTOX to limit the movement of certain muscles of the face and scalp.


Find out more about migraines

The more you know about your headaches, the more empowered you will be to manage them. For expert and compassionate help, please contact Winchester Neurological Consultants for an in-office consultation with one of the physicians in our migraine clinic. Phone us today at (540) 967-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
November 08, 2019
Category: Neural Issues
Tags: Concussions  

A concussion is a serious injury. It’s important that you turn to a neurologist for care.

A concussion is a common traumatic brain injury (TBI) that results when there is a blow to the head. Concussions can result from car headacheaccidents, bad falls, or sports-related injuries. When the head sustains a powerful blow it jostles the brain around, which can damage brain cells and result in chemical changes within the brain. From the office of our Winchester, VA, neurologists, learn more about the telltale symptoms of a concussion and the treatments and rehab services we offer at our Concussion Clinic.


Concussion Symptoms Can Be Subtle

Not all symptoms of a concussion are obvious, and due to this, sometimes a parent or family member can often overlook these symptoms. It’s important that you seek medical attention right away if you or a family member is dealing with,

  • Any loss of consciousness
  • Changes in consciousness (e.g. suddenly sleepy; having trouble waking up)
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Dilated pupils
  • Double vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fluid draining from the nose and ears
  • Slurred speech, weakness in the arms or legs, poor balance

While these symptoms might not require immediate attention, it’s still important to monitor your child or a family member if they are dealing with,

  • Lightheadedness
  • Vertigo
  • Headache
  • Balance problems
  • Mood changes
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Blurred vision
  • Slowed thinking
  • Trouble remembering or concentrating
  • Changes in sleep

After a head injury, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue are symptoms that usually appear immediately, while mood swings and other emotional symptoms may appear later.


Treating and Rehabbing a Concussion

Since all brain injuries are a bit different, the type of treatment you will need to recover from a concussion will also be unique to you. You will need to turn to a neurology specialist in Winchester, VA, who will perform a thorough evaluation along with neurological testing to determine the extent of the injury. From there, we can create a customized treatment plan.

Our very own Dr. Fowler has worked with athletes and other patients living within the Winchester, VA, area to provide them with concussion care after a sports injury or traumatic accident. She even provides local high schools with concussion care, which includes a 20-minute neuropsychological test that checks memory and reaction time to diagnose concussions. Concussions do not require surgery, but we can recommend certain medication, lifestyle modifications, and alternative therapies and rehab to help manage your symptoms.

We also offer,

  • Post-injury recommendations and advice for daily activities that are safe and which ones to avoid
  • Referrals for vestibular rehabilitation to improve balance and coordination
  • Assistance and monitoring throughout your rehabilitation to determine how to reintroduce you back into sports
  • Cognitive testing to detect long-term issues as a result of your concussion


Concerned? Give Us a Call

If you or your child is dealing with a concussion in Winchester, VA, it’s important that you seek treatment right away. Turn to the experts at Winchester Neurological Consultants to create the proper treatment plan to help you heal as quickly as possible. Dial (540) 667-1828.

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