My Blog
By Winchester Neurological Consultants
April 09, 2020
Category: Medical
Tags: Alzheimer's  

Alzheimer's can be a devastating disease, both for the person suffering from it and for their loved ones. However, you don't need to face it alone. Here at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, our doctors can help diagnose and accommodate Alzheimer's patients.

What is Alzheimer's?

Alzheimer's is the most common cause of dementia, a category of diseases and conditions characterized by a decline in memory, language, and problem-solving skills. It interferes with daily life by affecting a person's ability to perform everyday activities, according to the Alzheimer's Association.

In 2014, about 5 million Americans were living with Alzheimer’s disease and this number is expected to triple to 14 million people by 2060, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alzheimer's is more prevalent in older people, about 60 years old, and the risk increases as they age.

Alzheimer's is not a normal part of aging, even if the majority of people with Alzheimer's are 65 and older. About 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 have early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer's Association. It's a debilitating disease that worsens over time and shrinks a person's life expectancy People with Alzheimer's live 4-to-8 years after diagnosis, but they can live as long as 20 years, depending on their own circumstances.

What are the symptoms of Alzheimer's?

  • Difficulty remembering newly learned information.
  • Disorientation
  • Changes in mood and behavior
  • Increased confusion about events, time, and place
  • Unfounded suspicions about family, friends, and professional caregivers
  • Continued memory loss
  • Difficulty speaking, swallowing and walking

How to test for Alzheimer's?

To diagnose Alzheimer's, doctors conduct tests to assess memory impairment, functional abilities and identify behavior changes. Your doctor will ask you about your family history, diet, perform a routine physical exam to rule out other issues in addition to the overall assessment.

Whom should you contact for more information?

If you suspect you or a loved one may be suffering from Alzheimer's disease, then don't hesitate to contact Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, by calling (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
February 24, 2020
Category: Neural Issues
Tags: Epilepsy  

As the fourth most common neurological disorder in the US, epilepsy can affect individuals throughout all stages of life, from infancy to adulthood. Also called a seizure disorder, this condition is the result of excessive and abnormal brain cell activity and disrupts the quality of life for the person who suffers. At Winchester Neurological Consultants, our practitioners work with a multidisciplinary team of experts to meet the full spectrum needs of all patients with this condition. The comprehensive treatment program they've developed has earned the highest rating as a Level 4 National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC). If you have concerns about epilepsy, schedule a consultation at our Winchester, VA, office. Read on to learn more about this condition.

Understanding Epilepsy

Epilepsy affects everyone differently and is characterized by unpredictable seizures that vary in severity and duration. Seizures arise from a disturbance of electrical communication between neurons in the brain. During an episode, one can demonstrate abnormal behavior, change in feeling/sensation, or entirely lose consciousness. In addition to seizures, this neurological disorder can increase a person's risk for psychological, cognitive, social, and medical impairments, as well as anxiety, depression, migraine headaches, and learning disabilities. The condition affects everyone differently, and it's important to address symptoms early when they are most treatable.

Signs and Symptoms of Epilepsy

Doctors aren't exactly sure what causes epilepsy but relate it to genetics, severe head injuries, tumors, stroke, brain infections, and changes in neurological structure. Different types of seizures range from mild to severe. You should visit our Winchester, VA, office if you frequently experience symptoms such as:

  • Staring off into space
  • Uncontrolled jerking movement of the body
  • Fear, anxiety, or dejà vu before a seizure
  • Loss of awareness or consciousness

Epilepsy Diagnosis and Treatment

At Winchester Neurological Consultants, our practitioners take a comprehensive team approach for the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy. Through our specialized program, for both inpatients and outpatients, we offer diagnostic evaluations, expert medical care, dietary changes, and more. During treatment, doctors can pinpoint the location of the seizures, identify triggers, and create a custom care plan that is best suitable for your needs. Additional treatment depends on several factors which may include medications as well as device implantation.

Contact Us

If you would like to speak with one of our practitioners at Winchester Neurological Consultants, schedule a consultation to address any questions or concerns. For more information about epilepsy, our treatment program, or the other services we provide, visit our website. For appointment scheduling in our Winchester, VA, office, please call (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
February 20, 2020
Category: Medical
Tags: Movement Disorder  

Are you or someone you love dealing with the effects of a movement disorder?

Movement disorders include a variety of neurological issues that affect movement in some way, whether by slowing down movement, affecting the speed/fluidity of movement, or by causing involuntary spasms. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with a movement disorder, our neurological team can help.

Here at Movement Disorders Clinic in Winchester, VA, neurologist Dr. Mariecken Fowler works together with neurosurgeon Dr. Lee Selznick and rehabilitation physician Dr. Dominique Vinh to provide a comprehensive approach to treating a range of movement disorders. Read on to learn more about movement disorders and the treatments we offer:

What are the common types of movement disorders?

While there are 40 different kinds of movement disorders, the most commonly known ones include:

  • Ataxia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Restless legs syndrome (RLS)
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Dystonia
  • Tardive dyskinesia

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms you experience will depend on the type of movement disorder you have. Common symptoms include:

  • Tremors
  • Tics (movement or verbal) or involuntary movements
  • Trouble walking
  • Difficulty writing or using your hands
  • Slowed movement
  • Changes in writing
  • Uncontrollable movements while asleep
  • Stiffness of the limbs

If you are experiencing any tremors or persistent tics that affect your ability to walk, talk, or write, then it may be time to consult with our Winchester, VA, neurological team to find out if you could have a movement disorder.

How are movement disorders treated?

The underlying cause of your symptoms will determine the type of treatment you receive. Your treatment plan may include different therapies, medications, or surgeries. If medication isn’t successfully managing your symptoms or if your symptoms are severe, then our team may recommend deep brain stimulation, a surgical procedure in which our neurosurgeons will place a neurostimulator into the part of the brain responsible for controlling movement. This device will send out electrical charges that will block nerve signals that cause these tremors and involuntary movements.

Need treatment? Give us a call

If you are living with a movement disorder in Winchester, VA, you want a team of doctors that will be able to listen to you and provide you with the care you deserve. Call Winchester Neurological Consultants at (540) 667-1828 to learn more about deep brain stimulation and other treatment options to help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
February 19, 2020
Category: Medical
Tags: Concussions  

Concerned about possible concussion symptoms? Read on to learn more about this distressing injury, and if you or someone you know has recently experienced a head or neck injury, schedule a consultation with Dr. Fowler of Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA.

What is a Concussion?

Also called a traumatic brain injury, a concussion is typically the result of a blow, bump, or jolt to the head that causes the brain to bounce back and forth or twist inside the skull. Although concussions usually aren't life-threatening, the sudden movement can have dangerous consequences and severe long-term effects because it raises the risk of damaging brain cells and creating chemical changes. The outcome is a temporary, or in some cases, persistent, disturbance of healthy brain function.

What are the Symptoms?

Observation is critical during the first 24-48 hours after injury. Concussion symptoms can negatively influence school, work, and social life, which is why patients must seek medical attention immediately. Following a concussion, the victim should visit our Winchester, VA, Concussion Clinic if they notice:

  • Emotional - Increased irritability or changes in mood, behavior, personality, nervousness, and anxiety
  • Cognitive - Confusion, difficulty concentrating or remembering, foggy or hazy feeling inside the head, disorientation
  • Physical - Headache or increased pressure in the head, vision problems, numbness/tingling, extreme fatigue, nausea, and vomiting

If you or a loved one is questioning the severity of the trauma, visit our Winchester Neurological Consultants as soon as possible. Dr. Fowler can accurately assess the signs, determine a diagnosis, develop a customized treatment plan, and make any necessary accommodations.

How Do Doctors Diagnose and Treat Concussions?

To accurately diagnose a concussion, Dr. Fowler will ask questions about how you acquired the injury, what happened afterward, and the symptoms you're experiencing. He may also order additional testing such as an MRI or CT scan of the brain, if necessary, to detect bleeding or swelling. If a concussion is confirmed once all tests are complete, treatment will depend on the level of severity. However, conventional methods include over-the-counter pain relievers, and lots of mental rest that include refraining from technology, cell phone use, video games, and television.

Concerned? Give Us a Call

You don't have to be an athlete to acquire a concussion. If you or a loved one has experienced head or neck trauma from an automobile accident or bad fall, consult with the concussion care team at Winchester Neurological Consultants. Dr. Fowler can perform a proper evaluation and discuss treatment options for children as well as adults. For more information about our Concussion Clinic, the other conditions we treat, or the services we provide, visit our website. For appointment scheduling at our Winchester office, please call (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
January 24, 2020
Category: Medical
Tags: Migraine Symptoms  

Do you suffer from throbbing headaches preceded by visual problems, nausea, or vomiting? These symptoms often indicate a migraine, a debilitating headache of somewhat mysterious origins. At Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, our team of five board-certified neurologists listen to headache patients and take their problems seriously. Read on to learn some steps you can take to relieve your migraine symptoms.

What is a migraine?

Usually focused in one area of the head, a painful migraine throbs, sickens the stomach, and disturbs vision. Many people also say they see flashing lights, spots, or zig-zag lines before a migraine begins. Neurologists call these precursory signs an "aura."Additionally, some migraines are so intense they make people lose time from work and school as well as interrupt family life.

More women than men experience migraines, indicates the MRF, to a staggering ratio of 8.5 women to 1 man. Some researchers believe that the hormonal fluctuations associated with the child-bearing years make women more prone to migraines. Additionally, there seems to be a hereditary component. In other words, migraines run in families.

Relieving migraines

Key to successful management of your migraines is the identification of specific triggers. For instance, some people notice their migraines develop after eating certain foods, such as chocolate or cheese. Others experience these headaches after being touched or seeing bright and/or flashing lights. If you can control these triggers, you may limit the number of migraine episodes you have, along with their severity.

Additional migraine treatment strategies offered by our Winchester office include:

  • Medications such as beta-blockers, anti-depressants, and anti-seizure drugs
  • Sitting in a dark room, avoiding light and motion
  • Massage therapy
  • Injections of BOTOX, a refined form of the botulism toxin which restricts the movement of muscles in the face, scalp and jaw
  • Getting regular and adequate sleep
  • Reducing stress
  • Losing weight if you are obese

Fewer migraine days

It can happen when you and your neurologist work together on a customized care plan. Please contact Winchester Neurological Consultants for a consultation in our migraine clinic: (540) 667-1828.

This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.