In this information section, we will explain how the nationally ranked neurosurgeons and neurologists in the United States diagnose, manage, and provide second opinions on more than 150 conditions affecting the nervous system and brain. Such information will give you advanced surgical, medical, and minimally invasive options to manage your complex disorders and diseases.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
It is a disease that affects the human nervous system and brain. Alzheimer’s disease happens when nerve cells in the brain die, and the condition becomes worse over time. It can confuse, problems with memory, behavior, thinking, personality changes, problems with judgment, and problems with following directions.
How is Alzheimer’s disease diagnosed?
No single test can diagnose the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. A health expert will first rule out other medical conditions. But the way to confirm a diagnosis of such disease is to examine the brain after death. An autopsy can point out changes in the brain that mark the condition.
It is crucial to find out if a medical condition causes dementia that can be treated. A healthcare expert will do thorough exams of the individual’s nervous system. A good doctor may also do:
Mental status test: It may include tests of memory, attention, problem-solving, counting, and language, and even neuropsychological tests. This will likely be a series of checkups that assess your brain function. It usually involves answering questions and doing specific tasks.
Complete health history: It may include questions about past health problems and overall health. The doctor will see how well the individual can do daily tasks. And he may also ask a family member about any changes in the patient’s personality and behavior.
Brain imaging tests: MRI, CT, or position emerging test PET may be used to rule out the other causes of the problem.
Other lab tests: These may include urine and blood tests to find out possible causes of the problem.
How is Alzheimer’s disease treated?
Medicines are often useful to help people maintain mental function and carry out daily activities. They include Rivastigmine, Donepezil, Memantine, Galantamine, etc. At this time, this disease has no cure and no way of slowing down the progression of this disease. And no alternate is available to reverse the changes that the condition brings on. But a new study finding gives reason for hope. Many medications are being studied in clinical trials to see if they can treat or progress of the disease or improve memory for a period.
Certain medicines are available to help manage some of the most severe symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. These symptoms may include:
- Behavior problems
- Sleep problems
Social activities and exercise are essential to managing the disease. So are a healthy lifestyle, proper nutrition, and a well and calm, structured environment.
Can Alzheimer’s disease be prevented?
Since medical experts don’t know what causes the disease, there is no way to prevent it. But certain risk factors for dementia can be modified with specific lifestyle changes. Taking appropriate care of yourself by controlling your glucose and blood pressure can reduce the risk of dementia. Head injury may increase the risk of developing dementia, so it is essential to wear a helmet when taking part in dangerous activities. You should also wear a seat belt and take other measures to prevent brain injury.
What is a Brain Tumor?
A brain tumor is a mass or collection of abnormal cells in the brain. Your skull, which encloses the brain, is very rigid. Any unwanted growth in such a restricted space can cause problems. They can be cancerous or noncancerous. When benign tumors grow, they can produce the pressure inside your skull to increase. This activity can cause brain damage and become life-threatening.
Such tumors categorized as primary or secondary. A primary tumor originates in your brain, and many brain tumors are benign. A secondary brain tumor, also famous as metastatic brain tumors, occurs when cancer cells spread to your brain from another body part, such as breast or lung.
How are Brain Tumors diagnosed?
The diagnosis of such a condition begins with a physical exam and a look at your medical history. The physical exam includes a detailed neurological examination. A doctor will conduct a test to see if your cranial nerves are intact. These are the nerves that originate in the human brain.
A doctor will look inside the patient’s eyes with an ophthalmoscope, which is an instrument that shines a light through pupils and onto his or her retinas. This allows a doctor to look directly into the patient’s eyes to see if there is any swelling of the optic nerve. A medical expert can also suggest:
- MRI of the head
- CT scan of the head
- Skull X-ray
- Angiography, etc.
- Treatment of brain tumors
Surgery is the most common treatment for malignant brain tumors. The main motive is to remove as much cancer as possible without damage to the parts of the brain. While the location of certain tumors allows for safe and secure removal, other tumors may situate in an area that limits how much cancer can be removed.
Risks of brain surgery may include infection and bleeding. Clinically injurious tumors are also surgically removed. Metastatic tumors treated according to guidelines for the type of cancer.
Surgery can be combined with other additional treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak (CSF Leak)
What is a Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak?
Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak seems when there is a hole or tears in the membranes surrounding the spinal cord or the brain, allowing the clear fluid that surrounds and cushions those organs to escape. Cranial Cerebrospinal Fluid leaks occur in the head and are associated with CSF rhinorrhea, in which the cerebrospinal vapor escapes through the nasal passages. It develops due to tears in the soft tissues surrounding the spinal cord.
How is a Cerebrospinal fluid leak diagnosed?
The diagnosis of a CSF leak generally begins with a physical test and history. It can be challenging to detect, causing delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis. If the condition is suspected, the patient’s healthcare provider may ask to lean forward so they can observe if this increases the flow of nasal discharge. If the discharge can be collected, sent it for laboratory tests to find out if it is cerebrospinal fluid.
The individual’s doctor also may order tests to examine the condition of the spinal cord and brain. Whether the tear or hole is in the cranial area of the spine, the expert can order tests to determine the exact location of the condition.
How is a Cerebrospinal fluid leak treated?
While many Cerebrospinal Fluid leaks treat on their own and require only a period of rest, but patients with such conditions should visit their physician due to the increased risk of meningitis that is related to cranial CSF leaks.
For CSF leaks that do not respond to conservative treatments, surgery may be beneficial to repair them. An epidural blood patch with fibrin glue is the best treatment option for CSF leaks that do not respond to bed rest and other conservation alternatives. An epidural blood patch involves injecting the individual’s blood into the spinal canal.