Posts for category: Medical
How your neurologists in Winchester, VA, can help diagnose and treat dementia
Do you know someone who forgets things? Most of us do. In fact, you may forget things from time to time. Occasional forgetting is normal, especially as you get older. So, how do you know when it might be something more serious, like dementia?
The neurologists at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, offer a wide range of neurological services, including dementia diagnosis, management, and treatment.
Dementia is a broad term that includes several medical conditions, like Alzheimer’s disease. In cases of dementia, healthy nerve cells stop connecting with other brain cells and begin to die. Loss of these nerve cells causes problems with thinking, reasoning, and remembering. Dementia can also affect someone’s personality, leading to emotional outbursts, combativeness, and other issues.
So, how do you know when it’s time for an evaluation for dementia? If memory loss becomes frequent, a dementia evaluation should be considered. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, common signs and symptoms of dementia include:
- Short term memory loss
- Losing important items
- Forgetting to pay bills
- Problems with everyday activities like cooking
- Forgetting about appointments
- Wandering and forgetting locations
If you or someone you know is experiencing some of the signs and symptoms listed above, it may be time for an evaluation. An evaluation for dementia typically includes:
- Performing a physical examination, including vital signs, to check for any underlying condition which might be causing dementia signs and symptoms
- Recording a complete medical history, including a family history of physical or neurological issues
- Performing neurological and cognitive testing, including balance assessment, testing reflexes, and evaluating sensory responses
- Laboratory testing of blood and other body fluids to check for an imbalance that may be causing dementia signs and symptoms.
- Imaging studies, including CT, MRI, and PET scans to look for tumors and other issues which may be affecting the brain.
If you or someone you know is showing signs of dementia, early diagnosis and treatment are critical. To find out more about the diagnosis, management, and treatment of dementia, talk with the experts. Call the neurologists of Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, at (540) 667-1828. Call now!
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.
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.
Here are some simple ways to boost your memory.
If you find yourself forgetting names or where you put your keys you may just assume it’s all a part of getting older; however, it’s never too early to find new ways to keep your brain engaged and your memory sharp, and our Winchester, VA, neurologists can help. With the number of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia cases increasing in the US, it’s important that we recognize what we can do to reduce our risk.
Always Challenge Yourself
As you might imagine, people who are constantly learning are more likely to preserve memory and cognitive function as they get older. Your brain is a muscle and you have to work it out in order to keep it working optimally. This means keeping it stimulated through constant learning. No, you don’t have to necessarily go back to school to keep your brain active. You can simply,
- Read a book
- Learn a new hobby
- Play games
- Do a crossword or puzzles
- Build or craft
- Learn a new language
- Take an online course
Exercise isn’t just great for your health but also your memory. After all, a healthy heart also means a healthy mind, as the heart is the one pumping blood and oxygen to the brain to keep it healthy. People with heart problems are more at risk for cognitive decline, and one of the best ways to prevent both cardiovascular disease and memory loss is by getting regular exercise.
Make Sleep a Priority
A lack of sleep won’t just make you irritable or foggy-headed while at work, studies have found that a lack of sleep is similar to being under the influence. As you can imagine, long-term or chronic sleep problems can severely impact memory and affect how your brain functions.
It’s important that you are getting anywhere from 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. If you are having trouble sleeping or suspect that you might have sleep apnea consult with our Winchester, VA, neurologist about a sleep study.
Take Time to Meditate
Spending just 20 minutes each day meditating may be all you need to boost blood flow to the brain, which can greatly enhance memory and may even reverse early signs of memory loss in adults. Most people see an improvement in just eight weeks.
If you are noticing memory problems in you or someone you love, talk to a qualified medical professional. Call Winchester Neurological Consultants at (540) 667-1828 to learn more about the services we offer or to schedule an evaluation with one of our Winchester, VA, neurologists.
When you have concerns about your health or are feeling a bit under the weather, you typically arrange a consultation with your doctor. You might even go to the emergency room or urgent care clinic for after-hours situations. However, with the advancement of communication technology, your healthcare options are likewise expanding.
Via the telemedicine services here at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, you’ll be able to obtain healthcare advice anywhere and at any time, all within the comfort of your own abode.
Put simply, telemedicine enables you to discuss your medical concerns, symptoms, and the like with your doctor in real-time through specialized software from your doctor or a simple video conferencing app. You could obtain a diagnosis, find out about your treatment choices, and receive a prescription. In some cases, doctors could even keep track of readings remotely through medical devices to monitor a patient’s condition and specific symptoms.
How Telemedicine Works
Take note that telemedicine is not suitable for medical emergencies such as stroke, heart attack, broken bones, or lacerations that need casts, splints, or x-rays. Basically, telemedicine is not advised for anything that needs hands-on, immediate care. Telemedicine, however, is extremely useful for general guidance, especially during these times of social distancing.
Whether you have a very busy schedule, can’t go out of the house, or live in a remote place, telemedicine consultations with your doctor could aid in improving your wellbeing and overall health. It could be a practical option when you have a migraine episode, a cold, or just need to consult with your doctor for any non-emergency health concern.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t ever have to go to your doctor’s office ever again, it does, however, make healthcare more affordable and accessible in suitable situations.
If You Have Any Medical Questions or Concerns, Give Us a Call
Set up your telemedicine consultation with one of our doctors here at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, by calling (540) 667-1828.