Innovative Treatments for Neurological Disorders
With some neurologic disorders, including stroke, dementia, and brain cancer, being the leading cause of disability worldwide, there is a need for innovative treatments.
These disorders can be treated with non-pharmaceutical, minimally invasive therapies, like those provided by Colorado Integrated Neurology.
Gamma Knife Therapy
Gamma Knife Therapy, or stereotactic radiosurgery, is a highly precise, non-invasive treatment for brain tumors and other abnormalities. The procedure is safe and effective for most patients.
A computer-guided procedure called a “gamma knife” directs cobalt radiation beams precisely to the part of the brain that has a lesion or a sickness. One hundred ninety-two distinct beams combine to provide intense, focused radiation to the afflicted area while sparing the healthy tissue around it.
It effectively treats many brain cancers, including glioblastomas, brain metastases, blood vessel malformations, and other abnormalities. It can also treat certain tremors, such as Parkinson’s disease or essential tremors.
Your treatment starts with a series of imaging studies to determine the area to be treated. These are performed with MRI and CT scans, which allow doctors to create a detailed map of your brain, pinpointing the tumor or lesion. Your doctor will then use these images to develop a plan for your treatment.
An electromyography (EMG) diagnostic procedure evaluates how well muscles react to signals sent by specific nerve cells known as motor neurons. Additionally, it converts the signal into graphs or numerical data to aid in diagnosis.
Nerve conduction studies (NCS) and electromyography are part of the same testing process to help detect nerve or muscle disorders. NCS uses a technique that involves putting electrode patches on your skin over the nerves you want to test.
A stimulating electrode sends a mild electrical pulse to the nerve; other electrodes record the response.
In addition to showing how well your muscles respond to the electric stimulation, EMG also helps doctors evaluate how fast your nerves travel from one area of your body to another.
A variety of muscle disorders can be identified by EMG, including ALS, carpal tunnel syndrome, and herniated discs. These tests can be performed as a single procedure or with other diagnostic procedures, such as imaging.
Deep Brain Stimulation
Deep brain stimulation is an innovative treatment currently used to treat movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor, and psychiatric conditions, including obsessive-compulsive disorder. It also reduces seizures in difficult-to-treat epilepsy.
DBS is a surgical process in which electrodes are implanted in particular brain regions. These electrodes generate electrical impulses that restore the aberrant nerve signals that cause these disorders’ symptoms, like tremors and rigidity.
Doctors program the device to deliver a precise amount of electricity designed to improve your symptoms while minimizing side effects. This process may take weeks or months to ensure you get the most effective results possible.
If you have an essential tremor or Parkinson’s disease that isn’t responding to medications, focused ultrasound can help. This non-invasive treatment targets a specific area of your brain that is causing your tremor and destroys or changes it in a way that stops your tremor.
Focused ultrasound uses sound waves like a magnifying glass focusing light beams on a point. MRI guides the waves and can pass through your skin, muscle, fat, and bone without causing damage or injury risk.
In essential tremors, the focus of the sound waves is an area deep inside your brain called the thalamus, which controls movement. The sound waves converge on that spot, where they generate heat.
The heat destroys (ablates) a portion of the thalamus, which prevents it from firing the circuits responsible for essential tremors. It’s an innovative procedure that can reduce or eliminate your tremor and improve your quality of life.