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Winthrop University Hospital
neurosciences

The diagnosis and treatment of disease is one of man's last frontiers...uncharted territory ripe for new discoveries and dramatic breakthroughs. One of the most complex medical arenas is neuroscience, where physicians and scientists struggle to unlock the mysteries of the brain and central nervous system.

Physicians in Winthrop's Institute for Neurosciences are pioneering the use of technologically advanced approaches for diagnosis and treatment, including computerized imaging systems, state-of-the-art surgical interventions and the latest generation of medication therapies. In the Institute for Neurosciences, patients receive comprehensive care from an interdisciplinary team, which includes neurologists, neurosurgeons, pediatric neurologists, pediatric neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, vascular surgeons, orthopaedic surgeons and specialists from other related fields. Specialized nursing care, physical and occupational therapy, social work and other supportive services are key components of the Institute.

Neuroscience Unit

A highly specialized intensive care unit, dedicated to patients recovering from neurological or neurosurgical procedures, is located within a designated neuroscience floor at Winthrop. Patients here benefit from the latest technology, including 24-hour monitored beds, as well as round-the-clock physician's assistant staffing. Once patients are ready to leave the closely monitored intensive care environment, they remain on the neuroscience floor, clustered with other patients recovering from similar medical events. Nurses, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, and other allied health professionals on the floor are uniquely trained and focused on the specific needs of neurosciences patients.

Neuroradiology

Interventional Radiology

Winthrop's Institute for Neurosciences is equipped with a state-of-the-art Neuro-Interventional Radiology Suite, where neuroradiologists are able to precisely image structures in the brain, head and neck and spine, as well as perform minimally invasive procedures. This is often accomplished through the introduction of a catheter through the artery.

Neuroangiography

Neuroradiologists use interventional techniques to "see" clots in the brain. By introducing clot-reducing drugs through the same catheter that permits visualization of the area, they are often able to dissolve the clot. Similarly, dilating agents may be delivered to vessels that are in spasm to limit the damage caused by subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Aneurysm Treatment

Neuroradiologists use advanced imaging equipment to diagnose and evaluate aneurysms and arterial venous malformations (AVMs) in the brain. Together with neurosurgeons, they assess treatment options, which may include non-surgical interventions such as the placement of coils through a catheter. Surgical treatment is also an option and may be performed on an emergent basis.

Ultrafast CT Scanning & Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Winthrop's Institute for Neurosciences includes the most current versions of these diagnostic techniques that enable rapid diagnosis of emergent neurological episodes. Other diagnostic techniques include SPECT scans, a nuclear medicine scan that demonstrates brain metabolism; carotid ultrasound, which provides information about the carotid artery; transesophageal ultrasound, which provides valuable information about heart function; magnetic resonance angiography, which provides images of blood vessels inside the brain without the need to inject radioactive agents; and CT angiography.

PET Scanning

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanning is a highly sophisticated technique that provides valuable information about organ function and structure, simultaneously. PET scans can image blood flow, assess brain function, and detect and stage tumors. They are useful in evaluating movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease, as well as Alzheimer's disease.

Focus on Children

From tiny premature infants in the most precarious health, fighting for life in Winthrop's highly regarded Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, to growing children and adolescents, youngsters receive the full range of care from neurologists, neurosurgeons and others working hand-in-hand in the Institute for Neurosciences. Professionals here work in collaboration with their colleagues in the Institute for Family Care's Children's Health Services to provide the highest quality, most comprehensive care available to children at every stage of development.

Neurodevelopmental Screening & Early Intervention

As more and more premature and gravely ill newborns survive, they sometimes do so with neurological or other deficits. These NICU "graduates" are seen on a regular basis in order to ensure early detection of any potential developmental lags. A coordinated team of pediatric neurologists, neonatologists, developmental pediatricians and physical therapists performs comprehensive neurodevelopmental evaluations. If developmental delays are detected, arrangements are made to provide appropriate therapy in a variety of settings, including the home, community-based early childhood centers such as the Little Village School in Bellmore, with which Winthrop holds an affiliation, or within the local school system. In addition, every newborn at Winthrop undergoes hearing screening. Early detection of hearing impairment provides the opportunity for early intervention in order to prevent associated language and speech delay.

Seizure Disorders

Tracking down the precise origin of seizures is crucial to prescribing appropriate treatment. Pediatric neurologists have access to the most up-to-date diagnostic techniques to isolate the genesis of seizure disorders, thereby honing in on the most effective medical and/or surgical treatments. With the advent of newer generations of medications, there are now many more options for medical management of seizures with fewer side effects. Children who are not well managed with medication may be candidates for surgical implantation of a vagal nerve stimulator to complement or replace medication in the control and prevention of seizures.

Attention Disorders & Learning Disabilities

Pediatric neurologists function as part of a multidisciplinary team that provides comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis of children with learning disabilities and attention disorders, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). A team approach is emphasized, with close collaboration between pediatric neurologists, teachers and school personnel, behavioral psychologists, and, of course, the family. Recommendations might include counseling, educational assistance, psychological support and medication when appropriate. The ultimate goal is to enable the child to achieve his or her fullest potential.

Hydrocephalus & Other Central Nervous System Anomalies

Hydrocephalus is a swelling of the brain, which can occur in premature or full-term babies. Babies with hydrocephalus as well as those with general disorders of the central nervous system are evaluated and treated by pediatric neurologists and geneticists. In the Institute for Neurosciences, hydrocephalus may be treated with sophisticated endoscopic equipment to assess the cause of the condition and create a pathway to relieve the fluid accumulation, often minimizing the need for a shunt.

Headaches in Children

Headaches and migraines are common in adults, however most people would be surprised to learn that they can affect up to 5 percent of children as well. Although more often seen in adolescents, and in girls more than boys, headaches can occur in young children and toddlers. The primary categories are migraines and chronic, recurrent headaches. Headaches in children are rarely linked to a more serious underlying condition. Fortunately, there are new medications that specifically target migraine pain and can be effective in managing these headaches. There are also preventative medications and techniques to bring relief, sparing youngsters missed days at school and psychological distress that can accompany chronic pain.

Evaluation & Treatment of Neurological Disorders

Pediatric neurologists in the Institute for Neurosciences are skilled at diagnosing and managing children with a range of neurological issues, including brain tumors, muscular dystrophy and other neuromuscular disorders, Bell's Palsy and others. Long-term management of these often-chronic conditions focuses on meeting each family's individual needs for care and support.

Research into Tomorrow's Treatments

Treatment of neurological problems is a constantly evolving field. Specialists in the Institute for Neurosciences at Winthrop stay abreast of the latest developments and help pave the way for new discoveries through their participation in clinical research trials. This enables them to provide their patients with access to tomorrow's most promising therapies.
"...I am writing...to let you know what a wonderful staff you have in your Neurosurgical Department...My family and I were overwhelmed with my medical condition and your staff helped to ease and comfort our suffering..."

Think About It...

For additional information on the Institute for Neurosciences, or a physician referral, call 516-663-4525.
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