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Neuroscience (SNI) Blog

'neurology' Neuroscience (SNI) posts

What is ALS and why did it inspire ice bucket challenges at Swedish?

Employees of Swedish Cherry Hill Outpatient Rehabilitation and Neurology Departments took the plunge and participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness of ALS and funding for ALS research.  (Click here to see their video on Facebook.)




Before the ALS clinic team takes the ice bucket challenge
 
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), most commonly referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease which affects the motor neurons responsible for voluntary movements and muscle power. As the disease progresses, individuals living with ALS may lose their ability to move and control the muscles of their extremities, torso, head and mouth which can make completion of basic activities such as walking, eating, talking and even breathing very difficult.

Unfortunately, the disease has no cure and only one medication has been approved for the treatment of ALS. Research is making strides towards understanding the underlying physiology and genetic makeup of the disease. Because of  ...

Do you know the symptoms of a brain aneurysm?

It’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day demands and ignore changes in our health. It may not be wise, however, to dismiss those changes as symptoms of a hectic life. Blurred vision, dizziness or headaches that don’t get better can signal something serious.

Anywhere from 1 to 6 percent of Americans have a brain aneurysm but don’t know it. An aneurysm is a blister-like bulge on the wall of a blood vessel. It can go unnoticed for a long time. If it’s not treated, the pressure of the blood weakens the vessel, and the aneurysm grows like a balloon filling with air. If the aneurysm bursts, it causes a stroke.

An aneurysm can put pressure on nerves or tissue in the brain, which may cause:

  • Headache or neck pain
  • Vision problems, enlarged pupil, drooping eye lid
  • Numb face
  • Severe drowsiness

If you have a brain aneurysm, your doctor may ...

The Spring Issue of BrainWaves Is Now Available

The Spring 2011 edition of BrainWaves is now available online.

BrainWaves is the newsletter of the Swedish Neuroscience Institute. Published quarterly, BrainWaves provides information about neurological conditions treated at the Institute, and also profiles the programs, services, and new initiatives of the institute and its staff.

Also check out our past editions of the BrainWaves newsletter.

Advances in thrombolysis

 Washington State has one of the high est stroke mortality rates in the nation. To improve this situation, acute intervention al therapies for stroke are being employed to restore circulation to ischemic brain tissue that surrounds areas of completed infraction, while avoiding risk of hemor rhage due to reperfusion of large areas of infracted brain tissue.

Urgent thrombolysis with intrave nous alteplase is the only therapy known to improve clinical outcomes following acute stroke. Unfortunately, alteplase has had limited usage because many patients arrive in an emergency department after the three-hour treatment window. The FDA has also approved two clot removal devices based on the ability to restore circulation. These devices are used up to eight hours after symptom onset. Several approaches to improved acute stroke care are now under way, including extension of the thrombolysis window to 4.5 hours, identification of safer thrombolytic agents and research identifying brain at risk of in farction following a stroke.

A recent European study demonstrat ed the efficacy of alteplase up to 4.5 hours after ischemic stroke in patients younger than age 80 years who have neither dia betes mellitus or prior stroke. The safety profile during this longer window for these patients appears similar to that at three hours.

Another promising advance employs a new thrombolytic agent called des moteplase.

New center brings tertiary neurological care to children

The Pediatric Epilepsy and Pediatric Neurology services at Swedish Medical Center have combined to create the new Swedish Pediatric Neuroscience Center. As part of the Swedish Neuroscience Institute (SNI), comprehensive neurological care for newborns, infants, children and adoles­cents is now located at the Swedish First Hill campus in Seattle. Marcio Sotero de Menezes, M.D., has been appointed direc­tor of the new center.

The center has a high patient volume for the medical and surgical treatment of seizure disorders, including complex epi­lepsy syndromes and genetic epilepsies. It is accredited by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers as a Level-4 epilepsy center.

In addition to epilepsy, the center’s specialists treat pediatric patients for a wide range of neurological disorders, in­cluding headache and migraine; move­ment disorders, tics and Tourette’s syn­drome; genetic and metabolic disorders; neurodevelopmental disorders and learn­ing disabilities; brain malformations; cere­bral palsy; stroke; tuberous sclerosis; and neurofibromatosis.

The center’s pa­tients will also benefit from a broad spectrum of pediatric neurol­ogy inpatient hospital services, including epilepsy monitoring unit, pediatric and neonatal intensive care units, procedural seda­tion services, pediatric neurosurgery and intraoperative EEG monitoring, imaging services, and neuropsychological testing. Physical, occupational and speech therapy services are also available to the center’s patients.

For more information about the Swedish Pediatric Neuroscience Center, please call 206-215-1440.

Clinical Neurophysiology Lab Receives Accreditation

Congratulations are in order for the Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory for attaining Accreditation by the EEG Laboratory Accreditation board of ABRET. We are the first and only Lab to receive Accreditation in Washington State and one of only 10 labs west of the Mississippi. Accreditation means the Lab has met strict standards and is recognized as a place where patients and physicians can have confidence they are receiving quality diagnostics. Thanks for all the great work and CONGRATULATIONS to everyone on the team who made this possible!

-Colleen Douville

Director for Cerebrovascular Ultrasound
Program Manager for Clinical Neurophysiology

The neurophysiology laboratory at Swedish is a critical component to the Epilepsy program.

Staying Fit to Prevent Stroke

A brisk walk for as little as 30 minutes a day can improve your health in many ways and may reduce your risk for stroke. Join me, and one of our exercise physiologists to learn how to stay fit and reduce your risk for stroke. Free blood pressure screening will also be available.

Cherry Hill - Pinard Foyer

Tuesday, Oct. 12, 11 a.m.-1 p.m

For more information, please contact Sherene Schlegel:

sherene.schlegel@swedish.org

Office: 206-320-3484

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