We treat a diverse population of patients who are facing conditions and disabilities that affect the brain and spine. Most often, they have experienced a stroke, a spinal cord injury, a traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or some combination.
A stroke occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain is blocked. If blood flow is cut off for longer than a few seconds, the brain cannot get nutrients and oxygen. This can cause brain cells to die and create lasting damage.
There are two main types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain is stopped because of a blood clot. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in part of the brain becomes weak and bursts open. This causes brain bleeding.
Sometimes an ischemic stroke can cause a hemorrhagic stroke to occur. Symptoms of a stroke depend on which part of the brain is affected and the stroke’s severity. They include headaches, loss of balance or coordination, difficulty with walking, muscle weakness in the face, arm, or leg, numbness or tingling, and trouble speaking or swallowing.
Spinal Cord Injury
The spinal cord contains the nerve fibers that carry messages between your brain and body. Depending on what part of the spinal cord is injured, symptoms and severity vary. A spinal cord injury (SCI) at any level may cause muscle spasticity, loss of normal bowel and bladder control, numbness, difficulty breathing, sensory changes, pain, and/or paralysis.
Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) may occur when the brain is damaged as a result of trauma to the head. An injury to the head can cause brain cells to malfunction, potentially resulting in a TBI. There are different severities of TBI that determine the extent of the injury and how long it lasts.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease where an individual’s immune system attacks the body’s own central nervous system (CNS), which consists of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. The immune system causes inflammation, damaging nerves and myelin, the fatty-tissue around the nerve that provides insulation and allows the sending of signals to a neuron. This can lead to a variety of symptoms including gait disturbances, fatigue, and cognitive changes.
Parkinson’s Disease (PD)
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurological disorder that results in the reduction or loss of function in brain cells. One of the main areas of the brain that is affected is the substantia nigra. Cells in this part of the brain produce a chemical called dopamine, which aids in the transmission of signals between neurons. Without the proper amount of dopamine, some neurons have difficulty communicating. Individuals with the disease may have difficulty with cognitive function and the coordination of movement. Patients can exhibit a wide variety of motor symptoms including tremor, bradykinesia, and rigidity.