SNI Blog

SNI Blog

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

Michelle Scheff

Michelle Scheff
Speech Pathologist

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  ...

Treatment options for hemifacial spasm

Dean Hamilton, ARNP

Dean Hamilton, ARNP
ARNP, Swedish Cerebrovascular Center

Hemifacial spasm is the involuntary contractions of the muscles of the face, those innervated by the facial nerve (VII). The facial spasms are intermittent and occur on one side of the face only. Hemifacial spasm can involve the upper or lower half of the face and may progress to involve the entire half of the face. The intensity and frequency of these symptoms can increase over time and can persist even during sleep. Hemifacial spasm can be associated with vestibular dysfunction and cochlear dysfunction.
 
Hemifacial spasm is usually more common in women. The most common cause of hemifacial spasm is ...

Pinky's Passion for Parkinson's Disease research

Peggy Shortt, MN, ARNP

Peggy Shortt, MN, ARNP
Manager, Swedish Deep Brain Stimulation Program

The DBS Program Staff rallied support for Pat Erickson on Saturday July 26th at the annual Pinky’s Passion Walk in Edmonds.  Pat and her husband Steve started a foundation several years ago to raise funds for Parkinson’s research.  They host several lively fundraisers every year, and they really know  how to throw a party.  A great time in the summer sun was had by all.  Pat (Pinky) recently underwent DBS surgery, and she spoke at the event about her Swedish care experience with great fondness and appreciation.  More about  Pinky’s story and her fight for a cure can be found here.

Deep brain stimulation for dystonia

Peggy Shortt, MN, ARNP

Peggy Shortt, MN, ARNP
Manager, Swedish Deep Brain Stimulation Program


Swedish DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation) patient Ian Curtis shares his story with the community in a segment that aired on KUOW last week.  He was interviewed with internationally recognized neurosurgeon Andres Lozano who was visiting Seattle. Click here to read or hear the story from KUOW.

Drug treatment and weight loss restores vision in a blinding disorder linked to obesity

Steven R. Hamilton, MD

Steven R. Hamilton, MD
Neuro-Ophthalmology at Swedish Neuroscience Institute

As many as 100,000 Americans suffer from a disorder called pseudotumor cerebri or idiopathic intracranial hypertension that can cause permanent blindness and chronic headaches. The disease primarily strikes obese women of reproductive age with symptoms of daily headaches, visual symptoms including transient blurring or blindness, double vision, and pulsating noises in one’s head. Up to 5-10% of these patients may have permanent visual loss due to optic nerve damage.
 
A recent national trial funded by the National Institute of Health’s National Eye Institute has shown that a common water pill, acetazolamide, combined with a moderate but comprehensive dietary and lifestyle modification plan can restore and preserve vision in women with this disease. I was one of the local investigators for this trial along with Dr. Eugene May.
 
The symptoms of pseudotumor cerebri are thought to be due to high spinal fluid pressure around the optic nerves and brain due to impaired reabsorption of spinal fluid that is continuously being produced within the brain. This results in chronic headaches and swelling of the optic nerves that can lead to permanent blindness if left untreated. Patients typically are ...

Supporting patients with Parkinson's Disease

Peggy Shortt, MN, ARNP

Peggy Shortt, MN, ARNP
Manager, Swedish Deep Brain Stimulation Program

On Saturday, May 17, Swedish was well represented at the Washington Chapter of the American Parkinson’s Disease Annual Magic of Hope Dinner and Auction.  Several of our Swedish Neuroscience Institute providers, patients, caregivers, families, and distinguished community members attended the event, and contributed toward a successful fund raiser.  Swedish offered a generous donation to help sponsor the event, and Swedish patient and his wife David and Nancy Jones contributed a generous financial gift for programs and services for those living with Parkinson’s Disease in our communities.

Swedish is proud to partner with the APDA to support research, education, programs and services that stay in our community to benefit those living with Parkinson's Disease.

Pituitary Tumors: Diagnosis and Management

Erin Kieper

Erin Kieper
Program Development Manager, Swedish Radiosurgery Center

The Swedish Pituitary Center at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute is one of the country’s largest centers for treating disorders of the pituitary gland – including pituitary tumors. The center brings together endocrinologists, neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists to offer a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis and treatment of these tumors.
 
Tumors in the pituitary gland are quite common and many of them are so small they may go undetected throughout life. Although 99 percent of pituitary tumors are benign, the associated symptoms can be
debilitating, especially with hormone-secreting tumors. Regardless of the type of tumor, individuals with pituitary tumors may experience headaches, blurred vision, impotence/infertility, and mood changes.

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Top Authors

Karen Pabillon
Peggy Shortt, MN, ARNP

Peggy Shortt, MN, ARNP
Manager, Swedish Deep Brain Stimulation Program

John W Henson IV

John W Henson IV
Director, Neurology

Erin Kieper

Erin Kieper
Program Development Manager, Swedish Radiosurgery Center