SNI Blog

SNI Blog

Deciding to have Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for PD, ET, or dystonia

Peggy Shortt, MN, ARNP

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

Choosing to undergo elective deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery is a big deal.

I have walked through the process with hundreds of patients over the past 10 years and see many struggle with the choice to undergo brain surgery, as they seek to improve their quality of life. Many people have adapted to compensate for the movement disorder with creativity and determination.

In spite of this, after the best medical options have been exhausted, DBS is increasingly offered as a viable treatment option.

Keys to making the best decision for you are:

Vision Problems and Pituitary Tumors

Marc R. Mayberg

Nearly everyone notices vision problems, especially as you get older. In the great majority of cases, this is simply due to changes in the focusing capacity of the lens, and the solution is wearing glasses. However, it isn’t safe to assume that this is always the case. It’s important to have your eyes examined by a trained professional to determine whether something more serious is affecting the eye or the vision nerve. 

In the video below you’ll learn about something I commonly see in my practice – vision loss from a tumor of the pituitary gland that is putting pressure on the vision nerves. This type of vision loss typically reduces the peripheral vision to either side. This can be diagnosed by a test at the eye doctor called Visual Fields. As in this case, a relatively simple operation can reverse the vision problem before it becomes permanent. The key is early diagnosis. If you notice that your peripheral vision is affected, ask your eye doctor to check visual fields.

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SNI Research Aims to Expand Cerebral Palsy Therapy Options

Angeli Mayadev, MD

Angeli Mayadev, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center

Before they learn to crawl or walk, about 10,000 babies every year in the United States will develop a condition that will change how they will do just that. Cerebral palsy (CP) is a neurological condition caused by a brain injury before birth, during delivery or before a child’s second birthday. An estimated 800,000 Americans live with CP.

The most common symptom in CP is spasticity, an increase in muscle tension that impairs proper movement. Abnormal postures or movements, weakness or loss of muscle control and rigidity are also part of the constellation of CP signs and symptoms. While physical therapy remains the cornerstone for treatment, new medications and therapies for CP are being developed to help improve and manage symptoms.

Currently, Swedish Neuroscience Institute is participating in a study to determine the safety and tolerability of one such medication. Dalfampridine (AMPYRA ®) is a medication currently used to help improve walking speed in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. This phase I clinical trial aims to evaluate AMPYRA’s® safety, tolerability and its effect on sensorimotor function of adults with CP. The study will look at how single and multiple doses of the medication have on CP patients, including:

  • Hand strength
  • Manual dexterity
  • Walking speed
  • Gait

There is no cure for cerebral palsy. Therapies for CP ...

Swedish Contributes to New Treatment Option for Multiple Sclerosis

Pavle Repovic, MD, PhD

 On September 12, 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved teriflunomide for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). Teriflunomide (AUBAGIO) is a once-daily pill for the treatment of relapsing forms of MS. Led by Dr. Lily Jung Henson, the Swedish Neuroscience Institute was among several clinical sites that tested the drug. Results of the research showed that teriflunomide can lessen MS disease activity. Specifically, it behaves similarly to injectable therapies by slowing MS relapse frequency, the rate of disability and MRI activity.

The safety profile, however, is more challenging than ....

Radio-What? Radiosurgery is a treatment that sounds like surgery but isn’t.

Erin Kieper

Erin Kieper
Program Development Manager, Swedish Radiosurgery Center

If you have never heard the term radiosurgery, you are in good company. This sci-fi sounding word may conjure images from Star Trek but radiosurgery is anything but fiction.

Radiosurgery uses multiple beams of radiation from a variety of directions to destroy diseased or damaged tissue. Although the name sounds like a surgical procedure, this is a non-invasive way to treat many different conditions. The CyberKnife and Gamma Knife technologies are very precise and avoid injury to surrounding, normal tissue and the course of treatment lasts from a single session to less than 2 weeks...

Announcing New Swedish Cerebrovascular Support Group

Lorena Eve, RN, BSN

Lorena Eve, RN, BSN
Charge Nurse, Swedish Cerebrovascular Center

It is with great pleasure that I announce the beginning of the Swedish Cerebrovascular Support Group. Over the last several months, the care team here at Swedish has had many patients reach out and ask if a service like this was available. I am so glad that the answer is now yes!

Receiving a diagnosis like a cerebral aneurysm is for many a scary and stressful situation. Support groups are a fantastic way for people to alleviate fear and anxiety through discussion and education. These meetings will be a place to connect patients, family members, and caregivers together to share their experiences and advise with one another. The group is open to patients and family members of patients that have been diagnosed with or treated for a cerebral aneurysm or arteriovenous malformation (AVM).

Using Ultrasound for Treatment of Brain Hemorrhage

David W. Newell, MD

In September, I co-authored this cover article in the Journal of Neurosurgery on the results of a study using ultrasound for the treatment of brain hemorrhage. The study involved 33 patients with spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage who were screened for inclusion in a SNI clinical study known as “SLEUTH” (Safety of Lysis with Ultrasound in the Treatment of Intracerebral and Intraventricular Hemorrhage). You can the abstract and full text of the article or see background information on the study, and watch a related video on WebMD.

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Top Authors

Karen Pabillon
John W Henson IV

John W Henson IV
Director, Neurology

Peggy Shortt, MN, ARNP

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

Erin Kieper

Erin Kieper
Program Development Manager, Swedish Radiosurgery Center